Banana Stand Collection

This collection was born from my heritage. My grandfather, who we called "papa dia" came to America in the 1950s for more opportunity and to create a better life for himself and his family. He created a company called Sugar Ripe (maybe the best name of all time!) that imported fruits (mostly bananas) from Latin America to sell in the the US.  My memories of childhood include almost every type of banana style tchotochki you can imagine: banana vases, knives with banana handles, banana sheets, banana towels, banana board games, stuffed animal monkeys eating bananas and more. you would be hard pressed to find a photo of me as a child at my grandmothers house without some sort of banana in the background. 

my mom says she remembers selling the fruit her father sold at the local markets in St Louis where she was born and raised, and I always thought that was such a cool life: selling fruits at your family's fruit stand!

when I was designing this collection I was in Miami and I do think the tropical salty ocean air brought back these memories of my grandfather and his business. He was a hard working man with grit and a deepness to him that I will never forget. He was a man of little words, but when he spoke you'd better listen because it was bound to be a gem of a line. 

I wanted this collection to be an ode to my Papa Dia, for the work that he did and the life he created for my family. I wanted the collection to express bright, fun fresh new starts and vibrancy and opportunity, thats why I used bright colors and childlike shapes for the designs. The goal was for these fabrics to be an homage to him and my grandmother, Mama Dia, who both taught me so much about work ethic, kindness and looking at the brighter side of life, I hope you can feel both my grandparents in this collection, I certainly do!