Photo: Wendy Tam

Fashion does not have a postcode. It isn’t found on the streets of one particular city. It’s not owned by one particular culture. It’s an artistic expression inspired by our experiences. While we look to the traditional houses of Paris and Milan, a new generation of designers are catching the eye of consumers thanks to Online hubs such as NotJustaLabel.com. Much like the curator of an art gallery, they bring together note-worthy design talent, such as Anica Buckson of Anakovna—a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design inspired by Asia.  

Buckson’s infatuation with the Far East was ignited by her Aunt and Uncle, who lived in Japan. For this impressionable girl from Boston everything from the clothing to the anime (Japanese cartoons), seemed mysterious and fascinating leading. It was her path to design, an unexpected one...

“I always thought I would become an illustrator or a comic artist,” she muses. “From a young age I constantly drew, mainly anime. I would invent characters, create stories and draw detailed illustrations. They were like my fashion muses. Eventually, I became more interested in the clothing design and the garment details than the characters or stories.”

Buckson didn’t realize she had the potential to become a fashion designer until her freshmen year at Rhode Island School of Design where college professors gave her the faith to pursue fashion design. “At first I lacked confidence in myself as a designer, but eventually, I came to the conclusion that I should believe that I am worthy of being one, even if the thought of failure was scary.”

It’s the opportunity to make works of wearable art that intrigues Buckson, drawing inspiration from the fabric itself— how it drapes, feels and the natural forms it takes. With international expansion on the horizon and an Online fan base waiting for more, this designer is definitely one to watch. Anakovna.com — A.G.