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Meet Milena Costanza of Anza in Downtown Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Milena Costanza.

Milena, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in a small town outside of Toronto, Canada. It wasn’t really a place where a passion for expressing yourself through fashion was fully understood. I always felt out of place and unmotivated in high-school because I knew throughout, I wasn’t aspiring to work in finance, politics, or something more traditional. I was always highly creative and consumed by fashion. From as early as I can remember, I was always forcing my mom to take me to the nearest mall 30-40 minutes away to see what new stuff was coming out. My mom tells me as early as kindergarten, I was always so complicated in the mornings because I wanted to dress myself and do my hair the way I wanted. I knew from day one my entire life was fashion. The one thing that was absolutely constant in my life, no matter how many changes and obstacles I was going through. Fashion was there. Fashion was the cure.

When I realized I could study fashion in college, it was a no brainer. Telling this to my guidance counselors in high school was always quite funny. Their heads would turn sideways like a confused dog but hey, look at me now! I started fashion school in Toronto, quickly transferred to FIT in New York then, eventually finished here in Los Angeles at FIDM in downtown. New York changed my life and Los Angeles opened my eyes wide but Toronto will forever be home. Other than my overconsumption of fashion, photography came into my life soon after. I used it to feed my love for fashion and everyday life. My life and love for photography changed the moment I picked up my first film camera. The thrill of film photography sparked something inside of me. The more I took my camera out and set up my own shoots, the more people were recognizing this natural talent I had and started hiring me to collaborate for their own personal projects.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think some of the toughest struggles that I still deal with was and is taking this great big leap of leaving my small tight-knit town in Canada and believing in myself enough to take on an industry so cutthroat and competitive. Where I grew up, it wasn’t common to move away especially at such a young age. My parents were the most supportive parents in the world and I owe my life to them but trying to get my family and friends to understand how serious and in love I was with fashion and the creative side of the world wasn’t and still isn’t the easiest. I miss my friends and family in Canada every second but I knew I had to follow my heart. Luckily, my sister who truly is my soul-mate came along for this crazy ride with me.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Anza – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My sister and I started a company named after our family name “Anza”. We originally started by selling vintage and recycled fashion but currently, Anza is in the middle of creating original women’s pieces made of dead stock or recycled fabrics with a main focus on natural fibers. In a fast-fashion world, it is extremely important to us to create long-lasting, timeless pieces while keeping mother earth in mind. Ourselves, our friends and the girl next door are our biggest muses. Anza is inspired by our great big planet but also specifically our roots, New York City, the 90’s era, and menswear.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
As the current goal for Anza is to grow as a fashion company, we don’t plan to stop at fashion. We want to keep the family name very alive. If we’re talking about the great big picture, we want Anza to take on beauty, interior, hospitality, and all kinds of categories. We want to be a family household name. We will not just be another fashion label but soon you will understand 🙂

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