100 Creatives

Phoenix Fashion Designer Vara Ayanna: 100 Creatives

Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 58. Vara Ayanna.

Vara Ayanna's creative process is something of a royal affair.

The Phoenix fashion designer helms two labels: Thriftqueened and Get Kinged. The former specializes in up-cycled wearables, while the latter is a line tailored toward custom pieces and menswear.

And, yeah, she makes crowns.

See also: Arizona Artist Kerstin Dale: 100 Creatives

Well, sort of. Her online retail site has a section of shoppable crowns, which are custom snapback caps with such embellishments as gold chains and vegan leather. They complement other Thriftqueened streetwear pieces that Ayanna crafts.

I didn't come to Phoenix, I was born and raised in Phoenix. I am a desert child and pretty excited about it. Arizona is becoming a hub for creatives, artists, and anyone looking to start something on their own, I honestly can say that Arizona has given me free range to start my clothing line, Thriftqueened, Get Kinged, it has given me, a place to learn grow and cultivate, in which I am very grateful for. I am happy to call myself an Arizona native.

I make fashion because it's the only form of art expression that makes complete sense to me. I live, breathe, eat, work, & dream about clothing, outfits, styling, fashion and my version of art every day. I honestly could not live without fashion, it has become such a part of me that if anything were to take it away it would feel like the death of a loved one or a really bad break up. Art is the sole thing on this earth that keeps us, sane, and connected. The ability to create is one of our greatest accomplishments as humans, the ability to put your soul into something that inspires you and have so much response from your peers is a beautiful thing, I truly believe in the power of love, art, music, and anything that can bring us a little closer together.

I am most productive when I feel inspired, happy and loved. I believe that everyone deserves to express themselves, and for me being productive means that you are always actively thinking about, working on or refining your craft. Productivity for artists comes and goes, I believe that people always need something to believe in, so if you have your art you have everything you need.

My inspiration wall and vision boards are full of art, fashion, as well as my hopes & dreams. It if full of all the things that I aspire to be, which mostly include being amazing at my craft, humble, courteous, sensitive to others and what they are going through in their lives, everyone is honestly fighting some type of battle, and if I can inspire people through my art, passion and love for style I can maybe change someones day around for the better.

I have learned so much from people, other people have honestly taught me more than I can ever hope to learn from the world. People have taught me how to love, how to cultivate, how to be very careful, how to protect myself, how to make my art better, how to be myself, how to encourage, how to be honest, they have taught me to never give up, or be down on myself. People have to teach me the most important thing ever, to be kind.

Good work should always inspire others to go for their dreams and never stop.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more beautiful collaborations, more interesting ventures and more smiles, don't ever take life to seriously.

See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:

100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic 88. Olivia Timmons 87. Courtney Price 86. Travis Mills 85. Catrina Kahler 84. Angel Castro 83. Cole Reed 82. Lisa Albinger 81. Larry Madrigal 80. Julieta Felix 79. Lauren Strohacker 78. Levi Christiansen 77. Thomas Porter 76. Carrie Leigh Hobson 75. Cody Carpenter 74. Jon Jenkins 73. Aurelie Flores 72. Michelle Ponce 71. Devin Fleenor 70. Noelle Martinez 69. Bucky Miller 68. Liliana Gomez 67. Jake Friedman 66. Clarita Lulić 65. Randy Murray 64. Mo Neuharth 63. Jeremy Hamman 62. La Muñeca 61. Kevin Goldman 60. Emily Costello 59. Kerstin Dale

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski