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REVOLVE Q&A: AIKO Designer Cynthia Mittweg On International Living And Her Really Cool Fall Play List AIKO Hana Long Dress AIKO Stormy Leather Skirt AIKO Tennant Long Skirt

How did you get started designing?
MY GRANDMOTHER IS AN ALL AROUND ARTIST BUT WAS AN INCREDIBLE TAILOR. MY MOTHER WAS FASHION OBSESSED AND MODELED FOR SOME OF MY FAVORITE DESIGNERS YEARS AGO, SO I INHERITED QUITE A LOT FROM MY FAMILY GROWING UP. I THINK THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF MY PASSION FOR DESIGN. I GOT STARTED WITH SMALL PROJECTS AND THEN CREATED COSTUMES I WORE ON STAGE. AIKO WAS THE START TO MY CAREER AS A DESIGNER.

How would you describe the overall aesthetic of Aiko?
THE OVERALL AESTHETIC OF AIKO IS FORWARD WITH CASUAL UNDERTONES.THERE ARE TWISTS ON BASICS AS WELL AS A TWIST ON WHAT IS CONSIDERED LUXURIOUS. THE COLLECTION ISN'T PRECIOUS AND EVERYTHING IS MADE TO WEAR IN AN EASY MANNER.

Was there any particular inspiration behind the fall collection?
THIS SEASON I WAS INSPIRED BY AN OLDER FRENCH FILM CALLED "VAGABOND" IN WHICH THE CHARACTER IS SORT OF A LOST WANDERER WHO FINDS HERSELF FREE AND TROUBLED IN HER ISOLATED JOURNEY. THIS NOMADIC-LIKE STATE INFLUENCED BY A MORE LAVISH VERSION OF THE EARLY '90s GRUNGE BECAME MY VISION FOR THIS COLLECTION.

How do you think this collection has evolved since its debut in 2010?
THE COLLECTION IS ALWAYS EVOLVING, AND TODAY IT IS MORE WELL ROUNDED. WE STARTED WITH ONE FABRIC AND NOW HAVE DEVELOPED NEW CATEGORIES SUCH AS SWEATERS, LEATHER, AND FUR AS WELL AS EXPANDED ON OUR KNITS. I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT AS A BRAND TO BE GROWING WHILE STAYING TRUE TO YOUR DNA.

How would you describe the Aiko girl?
THE AIKO GIRL IS WHAT I LIKE TO CALL A BEAUTIFUL MESS. HER HOME ISN'T ALWAYS TIDY AND SHE MAY LEAD A FAIRLY BUSY LIFESTYLE, YET SHE ALWAYS MANAGES TO ROLL OUT OF BED AND INTO THE WORLD LOOKING FASHIONABLE AND WELL PUT TOGETHER.

What?s one thing every girl needs in her closet for fall?
I ALWAYS LIKE TO UPDATE MY FALL WARDROBE WITH STATEMENT SWEATERS. I THINK THIS FALL A FUN COLORED PLAID IS A MUST HAVE.

You?ve lived all over the world, what city do you find most inspiring?
I HAVE A GREAT LOVE OF NEW YORK CITY AND I FIND IT TO BE INCREDIBLY INSPIRING AND ALIVE. I ALSO FEEL VERY CONNECTED TO TOKYO.

Where/ what is your ultimate dream vacation? And what will you pack?
MY DREAM VACATION WOULD BE TO RENT A HOUSE IN GOA WITH MY HUSBAND AND DAUGHTER. I WOULD PACK BEAUTIFUL DRESSES AND SANDALS.

What is your favorite seasonal cocktail?
I DON'T DRINK BUT IF I DID IT WOULD BE DELEON TEQUILA WITH MUDDLED STRAWBERRIES AND A OF SPLASH TONIC.

What's on your fall playlist?
12. DAVID BOWIE'S "HUNKY DORY" RECORD
THE STRANGLERS "STRANGE LITTLE GIRL"
BEACH HOUSE "10 MILE STEREO"
DESIRE "UNDER YOUR SPELL"
LA ROUX "IN FOR THE KILL (SKREAM'S LET'S GET RAVEY REMIX)
PICTUREPLANE "GOTH STAR"
THE SOFT PACK " EXTINCTION"
WASHED OUT "NEW THEORY"
BRETT SMILEY "SPACE ACE"
KEREN ANN "LA FORME ET LE FOND"
TALKING HEADS " THIS MUST BE THE PLACE (NAIVE MELODY)
TELEVISION "MARQUEE MOON"


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