Today we’d like to introduce you to Anita Chang.
Anita, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Atina is the reverse of my name Anita. It is also a combination of my mother’s name, Tina Chang, and mine. These two elements symbolize Creativity, Reinvention, and Thoughtfulness. When I was 14 years old I was invited to join a couple of girlfriends to prom. I had a hard time finding any dress that suits my frame because I was very skinny and underdeveloped. My mother made my first prom dress from scratch out of maternal affection, and that night I witnessed how the right dress carefully made to fit could transform a gawky little girl into a princess. The transformative power of fashion stayed with me. My sartorial philosophy was formed then that clothing should be made to compliment bodies, not the other way around. It’s not about having a perfect figure, it is about finding the dress that brings out the special features and aura already in each one of us. The journey to find that right dress, like finding one’s voice and identity, is itself an empowering experience.
I am an immigrant from Taiwan. I came over to the States when I was 14 without speaking much English. I played the violin growing up and was accepted to the music program at an Art school that is the prep school for New England Conservatory. My talent in writing was discovered by teachers in high school and I took the advice from them to “do something about your talent in writing” in college. I went to Boston College and received a degree in mass communications which encompasses journalism, PR and marketing. I’ve always been more artistically driven, but, like many people, I felt the need to be “practical” and spent a lot of years trying to “normalize” myself. I got an MBA from Boston University and took regular office jobs. But the fire in me for fashion did not stop. I started a fashion blog in my spare time to cover fashion events in LA and my articles were read by some of the key people then. I started wearing dresses I made to those events and many people complimented those dresses. That gave me the confidence to start my own dress line. My education in communications and MBA gave me the skillsets to run my business. That is the story how everything started. Fashion, literature, music, art are my passion. They are all interrelated and provide inspiration for me.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Building a brand requires time and investment. So initially the challenge was to get my design in front of people within the budget that was available to me. I didn’t have the budget to hire PR person at the time so I did everything myself- from the grass-root approach of bringing my dresses to the homes of ladies who lunch and some sales events, to put my dresses on magazines. I convince a magazine to make me the guest fashion editor through my writings and dress images. Also, I found myself sponsors to throw my first fashion show. There have been challenges but there were solutions too.
We’ve been impressed with Atina Collection, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a fashion designer. My brand, Atina Collection, specializes in dresses. Fashion and elitism are often intertwined, and with that stylish or luxurious-looking apparels sometimes seem out of reach to many. Some are intimidated by pricing, while others are intimidated by shapes. I am very conscious of finding the balance between style and comfort. Even when the dresses are fitted they are still very comfortable to wear and walk around in. I also want to make elegant and beautiful dresses accessible to people and put the focus back to wearers. Each piece of clothing is made to compliment the bodies as if they are from the loving hands of a mother to a daughter.
My aesthetics is elegant sensuality. Each dress brings out feminine sensuality in women while not being over-the-top. They are eye-catching and classy. I have different styles for different body types. I want people to find the dress that speaks to them, to their bodies, and I am confident they will find it with me. I design dresses that give curves or slim down where needed. Other than contemporary dresses, I also design Qipao, figure-fitting classic gowns with side slit that are widely worn in Chinese speaking regions.
My dresses are in a pop-up store in Beverly Hills until June 18. People can purchase my dresses online (atinacollection.com). Future pop-ups will be announced on our website and Instagram going forward.
Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
Music for sure inspires me and is an important part of my creative process. so music app like Apple Music, Spotify, and pandora
Books: I like classic novels. They somehow have a calming effect on me. Some of the authors I like: Faulkner, F Scott Fitzgerald, and John Steinbeck.
Instagram is a source to see the latest fashion trend and what the market demand.
- Website: atinacollection.com
- Instagram: @atinacollection and @_anitachang314
- Facebook: Facebook.com/atinacollection
Jac Wong IMG_R_0025 IMG 7311 Show 2022-May IMG 7121 IMG 7124 IMG 2207 Ken Alcazar IMG 2209 Ken Hugh N220309-1033 Tom Chang IMG-7563