After attending the Art Institute of New York, fashion designer and illustrator Ayanna Dixon landed what many only dream of – an internship with Donna Karan. When that opportunity ended, she moved back home to Jamaica with a dream to build her own ready-to-wear luxury brand that would be the ‘Donna Karan of the Caribbean’.
While barriers in production didn’t quite allow that to pan out, Ayanna has spent the past 10 years at the helm of ASD – a successful illustrated lifestyle brand constructed on the ethos of women’s empowerment.
ASD specializes in almost everything illustrated – art, fashion, mugs, pouches, and now, with the onset of the global pandemic, even masks, as well as a bundle of other sassy, creative everyday items.
“It has all been very organic. It has ended up more like me – youthful, fun, fashionable, but very easy,” Ayanna says.
A strong believer in giving back, Ayanna’s work is lauded for its inclusivity in women’s representation. Her illustrations of women are all shades and sizes, representing the diversity of the Caribbean. “I place a high value on being my sister’s keeper. Representation matters, and we’re all in this together as sisters,” she shares.
The overall ASD aesthetic is cool, colorful, relaxed and easy, with a distinct island-girl feel. On the flip side, there’s thought and intention behind what is being presented – carefully designed to uplift, enlighten and provide subtle social commentary.
“Every time someone wears a piece, I want to know they feel happy – bringing them that much closer to feeling empowered and confident within themselves,” Ayanna says.
Visit ASD online
All photos are contributed.