Meet Naya Designer – Helen Wheeler
What are the Naya signature themes & looks for Spring/Summer 2021?
The signature of Naya is based around layering, with flattering shapes and dimensions that suits all shapes, sizes and ages, but that also offer an individualised look to different people. Naya really is a brand that caters for all customers. Our collections are always stylish and well finished but with a firm focus on ease.
Tell us about some of the key design features and details in this season’s collection?
With Naya, our collection is centred around our staple pieces – shift jersey dresses, cuff trouser, longer line cami – that allow you to create layers in fabrics and in textures. This season there are a lot of lightweight fabrics, that even when layered don’t look too bulky.
Fabrics are a key feature of the Naya look such as cotton, viscose and jersey - they’re lightweight, breathable, and very easy to wear.
What’s the colour palate for SS21 collection?
The core palate for Naya is neutral colours – black & white, soft stone, nautical navy & white, army green and khaki. But with each season we introduce highlight colours, selecting from the trend colours for that season – for SS21 its bright lime, French blue with sunshine lemon. Our customers prefer the neutral colours, stones, creams, silvers, steel grey but like to add a pop of the trend colours. This is one of the great advantages of Naya in that it’s a capsule collection that you can add to year on year. Customers don’t buy Naya for just one season, they like to wear it again and mix it with different combinations.
When you’re designing a new season collection, where do you get your inspiration?
Naya is about new beginnings which is where the brand name came from, and this year with such an emphasis on wellbeing, we felt it was important to focus on easy comfortable styles that are still elegant to wear. Much of our inspiration comes from the Naya customer – she’s discerning and wants more than just the high street trends so it’s important to build on our distinctive Naya look while also giving a nod to some of the broader fashion trends.
Has Covid impacted on designs for SS21?
There has been a definite impact. For example most people are now working from home, and their attitude to dressing has changed completely. We hear so much about loungewear and I understand that people want to be comfortable and flexible in their wardrobe, but for me it’s still important that it’s done in an elegant and stylish way.
As a designer what’s most important when designing the collection – fit, style, comfort, quality, fabric…?
All of the above! It’s very important for women to feel comfortable and stylish.
Quality is very important too, and something we spend a lot of time perfecting because we want our customers to be happy with the product so they come back the following season.
Quality, fabric and make are fundamental to every collection for me.
What sets Naya apart from other labels?
It’s the combination of style and comfort. We spend a lot of time perfecting our fabrics, our trims, our buttons - there are details in a Naya garment that you wouldn’t see in most other brands. I think many other brands are driven by trends or by the product that they’ve always produced, whereas we prefer to improve the product every season – so when a customer comes back, they see a Naya garment that they recognise, but they also see that its moved on every season and that keeps them interested. It also means that customers can build their wardrobe over a number of seasons so it’s a real investment.
What are you favourite trims or details from the SS21 collection?
I think in the Spring/Summer collection, what we were most pleased about is that we introduced more texture in our fabrics, and really focused on the trim finishes on the garments, which we know our customers love too. Details like adding a contrast colour, lurex thread, tuck detail, chunky zips – adding these extra finishes to each garment really does make the Naya brand stand out.
What’s your advice on starting a Naya capsule wardrobe?
Start with the foundation pieces, our signature looks.
I would recommend our cuff trouser, comfortable, stylish and non-crease, and can be worn with oversize knits, jersey tops, linen mix jackets
Our jersey dresses which can be worn with chunky Naya jewellery, and layered with items from the collection or mixed & matched with other pieces from your wardrobe.
Finally include a jacket or mac which this season have feature buttons, chunky zips and oversized trims.
What’s your favourite piece from the Naya collection?
That’s very difficult! I wear a number of the garments myself which I think is important because you get the feel of the piece so I would say the tuck trouser is one of my favourites. Tuck travel fabric is one of our base clothes - it washes brilliantly, doesn’t crease and is so comfortable yet always stylish and a great fit. I constantly wear them either travelling, in work or on weekends, and it’s just a case of how I mix it up.