Kimia Arya has always had a passion for the fine arts and high fashion. As a classically trained artist, she had a huge affinity for the works of Picasso and Michelangelo, and the stylized works of Dali. In Fashion, she was drawn to Chanel, Lagerfeld, Cavalli, McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier for inspiration. Arya always dreamt of combining her two favorite worlds into a purpose driven business, and she has accomplished just that through her eponymous fashion line, Kimia Arya. Largely known for her Painted Silk textiles, which are inspired by her own original paintings, Kimia has successfully managed to make a name for herself in the fashion industry and has grown to redefine couture in America.
While building her brand, Kimia was quick to notice the wasteful means of the fashion industry, especially in the high fashion world she admired. Fabrics and materials were being sourced for single garment creations, and multiple collections of 50 or more garments were being shown per year, per fashion house. The overconsumption and influx of garments, fabrics and materials, on our environment are more than the population, Kimia explains. The fashion industry alone produces an estimate of 150 billion garments every year, for 7.9 billion humans, and is the second biggest pollutant in the world next to agriculture. These numbers are staggering and she knew from inception that her purpose was to make a positive impact through her fashion house.
Kimia’s brand mission is to Create High Fashion at Zero Cost to Our Planet. She has been able to fulfill her mission through the ‘Five Pillars of Success’ she established for her Atelier, known as Maison Kimia, which are deep-rooted in the brand’s DNA and decision making: High Quality, Small Quantity, Locally Produced, Global Impact, and Giving Back. In order to maintain the least amount of carbon footprint on the environment, all of the pieces created at Kimia Arya brand are made-to-order, and are hand-cut, hand sewn, and hand prepared in their West Hollywood Atelier. All of the materials used are ethically sourced, including the Kimia Arya Silks, and they consciously use fabrics and materials that are earth friendly, such as silk, which is a natural fibre and is biodegradable, as well as Corozo buttons, which are nut based. Kimia tries to source as local as possible through trusted vendors and b-corp affiliates. She also incorporates a lot of vintage and dead stock fabrics that would otherwise be tossed into our landfills. Kimia is a strong believer in ‘New Life Through New Design’ (NLND), which is one the brand’s motto’s and has become a staple collection for the brand; Reclaimed fabrics from previous collections are put together to create unique textile designs, which transform into beautiful wearable art, one-of-a-kind statement pieces. These pieces have become extremely popular, especially amongst celebrities and collectors of one-of-one pieces. Kimia makes two collections per year, one for each fashion season, and responds to high demand through custom pieces for private clients, major production studios, celebrity clients, and red carpet events. Her positive philosophy and sophisticated style have put her at the forefront of Ethical Couture in America, and the go-to for celebrity stylists and conscious luxury clientele worldwide.
Kimia believes in the full lifecycle of the garment and in layering quality items that lasts, instead of constantly looking for the next ‘new’. A self proclaimed “hippy at heart”, Kimia feels the most grounded and at peace when she is in nature. She loves being outdoors and close to water, and she truly believes that we are put on this beautiful earth to make it better and more sustainable for our future generations. Every collection has nature inspired elements and motifs, and she has planted over 2400 trees in areas of need through her reforestation business partnership with One Tree Planted. Kimia also gives back to causes that shine light on climate change and mental health awareness.
When asked about what advice she had for emerging designers that are struggling to find their voice in the industry she simply replied, “Always remember why you started. When you have a purpose and a mission, you will always have a voice and your people will ultimately come find you.”