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Modern Fashion: Fashion Designer Annaiss Yucra On The 5 Things You Need To Lead a Successful Fashion Brand Today

An Interview With Candice Georgiadice

… It will be a movement towards enjoying each day on its own. I think we live in a world that doesn’t focus on mental health, in Latin America it’s still a taboo, and we have such a chaotic lifestyle, always on the clock that sometimes we forget to enjoy the process of it, and start working on being grateful of each day step by step–and sharing that knowledge will make more people blessed of their everyday achievements

Many in the fashion industry have been making huge pivots in their business models. Many have turned away from the fast fashion trend. Many have been focusing on fashion that also makes a social impact. Many have turned to sustainable and ethical sourcing. Many have turned to hi tech manufacturing. Many have turned to subscription models. What are the other trends that we will see in the fashion industry? What does it take to lead a successful fashion brand today?

In our series called, “5 Things You Need To Lead a Successful Fashion Brand Today” we are talking to successful leaders of fashion brands who can talk about the Future of Fashion and the 5 things it takes to lead a successful fashion brand in our “new normal.”

As a part of this series I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Annaiss Yucra.

Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Annaiss studied at Central Saint Martins and graduated with honors from (BA) Fashion Design at Nottingham Trent University. Annaiss began to make a name for herself globally thanks to her different international recognitions in competitions and social programs in Peru with creative workshops with indigenous communities, men in prison and aspiring students. Today, the colors and speech of the eponymous firm continue to expand internationally.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood “backstory”?

My childhood was always about that connection to my heritage and traditions from a family that was from the landfill, immigrants from the Sierra to the Capital. It was an injection of colors, textile work of weaving, and culture. I am a third generation indigenous woman, and that really made an impact since I was very little, in the way of the respect to the Pachamama (Mother Earth in Quechua) to the love of the textile work in Peru.

Can you tell us the story about what led you to this particular career path?

From a very young age my connection with my environment was what allowed me to open myself to a world full of creativity. My family always pushed me to follow my dreams and I grew up in an environment full of color, fabrics, customs and heritage. Art and fashion are extensions of my thoughts and values–it is what I reflect through this exploration.

I started my homonymous project in 2018, on my return to Peru from university. I had no contacts in this area, so I applied to the Young Creators to the World contest. From that moment my work began to receive media attention and I was able to create a real network. As a result, international platforms began to see my work–during the years since then, I have had the honor and opportunity to not only represent my country but also Latin America as a whole, putting my continent in the eye of emerging fashion.

Within my work, I also aim to touch on social issues and create projects that stem from uncomfortable but necessary issues–by using fashion to tell a story, I feel we can grow as a community and have positive repercussions. I consider what I do “Artivism” or activism + art. Because my heritage is such a big part of my work, I want stories and issues from Peru and Latin America to be part of my designs. Fashion has given me the opportunity to communicate through clothing and enhance my career in a positive way by creating awareness in my country.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I think it’s the impact I have in my society and how I’ve helped change the perspective about fashion in Peru. I would never in a lifetime think that, through my creativity and my purpose in life, that I’d be able to help create a movement in my country and a change towards female empowerment and body positivity.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

PURPOSE: I created a business that comes from my core, my purpose is my real motivation and making a true change in the fashion industry and perspective of Latin American Fashion.

PERSISTENCE: There is no “No” for me–when people see struggles I always see an opportunity, I will carry on innovating persistently.

A 24/7 A.Y LIFESTYLE: I am always on a clock, working 24/7. For me it’s not even working, it is always about creating, making garments, being involved in exciting projects. It has become a lifestyle.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

That each garment we produced is unique. We have a small team in our family studio where we are constantly innovating and moving forward to create a piece that is not only unique, but also a piece that will be in your wardrobe for a lifetime.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD (Bienvenida al mundo real, in Spanish)

That’s a quote my mom would always remind me about, how living in a world full of struggles was real, and how I should always make my rules to thrive within it.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. Do you see any fascinating developments emerging over the next few years in the fashion industry that you are excited about? Can you tell us about that?

Definitely the development of digital fashion to complement real-life fashion. It’s been incredible seeing the different people in digital worlds bring their own perspective to my looks and onto their own avatars, wearing the garments in a completely different way. Seeing my designs through their eyes makes me think, how can I approach creating a garment in a different way, and see it from a different perspective. I love the way that people are expressing themselves, using the clothes so differently, in so many different ways that I was not expecting at all. That is why I have partnered with VMOD.

With VMOD I am able to explore new methods of bringing my collections to life that are more inclusive and democratic, such as techniques like AR try-ons where my customers can see how they look in something prior to purchasing; or creating virtual fashion shows or lookbooks using 3D; plus, as a designer I am able to see which of my designs customers like and engage with more, which helps me decide how to adjust a design, or what to put into production. 3D fashion is definitely gaining popularity, and while I don’t create in 3D now, VMOD makes it incredibly easy for designers to get started, and they are able to save a ton of time and pre-production costs on sampling etc, by fine-tuning fit in digital.

Can you share how your brand is helping to bring goodness to the world?

I think first it’s the visual impact from the joyful palette, but the main focus is the message behind each garment and how it’s helping to create a conversation towards different subjects around society.

Can you share with our readers about the ethical standards you use when you choose where to source materials?

I am a 3rd generation textile manufacturer. My grandmother was an artisan who would do exhibitions with her textiles and sell her hand crafted work. After that, my parents started a business with Peruvian cotton, and now I work with local artisans to create my handcrafted looks, often creating new textiles with them. My childhood was about going to the factory and seeing this community of artisans making the garments, expressing themselves through their work so magnificently. I am carrying on a legacy, a history, and that’s so important to me, while also championing the incredible work of local artisans that is often overlooked.

When I do source materials outside of Peru, I like working with SwatchOn and VMOD, because they are the only company that is connecting real life fabrics with 3D counterparts–which is pretty incredible. SwatchOn also vets each of the fabric vendors on their platform (the majority within Korea) so I know I can trust that the IRL fabrics I search for are of the utmost quality. If I’m ever looking for something specific and can’t find it, I just reach out and they’ll help me source it through their vendors. That kind of 1-on-1 attention makes me confident in the quality.

Fast fashion has an advantage, that it is affordable for most people, but it also has the drawback that it does not last very long and is therefore not very sustainable. What are your thoughts about this? How does your company address this question?

The desire for fresh looks will, I think, always be–but that doesn’t mean it can’t be sustainable. I’d go back to the onset of digital fashion–to add to what I was saying earlier, new generations have so many different ways they want to engage with fashion, and it’s not only about wearing real life clothes anymore. It’s about being able to tell your story in new ways, and give people new ways to express themselves. That’s why I’ve been excited to be on VMOD for their launch, because it’s a totally new way to connect with people–and to communicate my messages of Artivism. With platforms like VMOD and other digital players, now we as fashion designers have the choice to create in real life, or create in digital, filling a need for “fast fashion” in a more sustainable (and even faster) way.

Thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Lead a Successful Fashion Brand”. Please share a story or example for each.


Listening to your consumer and being active into what they truly want from sizing, custom services, and an experience when visiting your brand.

Communication, a true channel of authenticity in your social media will truly make a connection with your community–people don’t want a perfect story, they want the truth and being able to tell it from your own channels helps with the engagement.

Small drops all around the year. In my case, giving my customer these types of drops truly makes a difference in our sales. It’s important to know what your customer needs and observe them when it comes to the items you will launch. Form follows function.

Being clear with your supply channels, and making a positive impact in your industry will lead into a more conscious brand and connection with your core and community.

Every industry constantly evolves and seeks improvement. How do you think the fashion industry can improve itself? Can you give an example?

There are so many areas of improvement. I think one of the most important comes when thinking in inclusivity. Being able to create garments for all body types and recognize that everyone in our community is different will truly make a change in the impact of women wanting to have a significant piece without limitations.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

It will be a movement towards enjoying each day on its own. I think we live in a world that doesn’t focus on mental health, in Latin America it’s still a taboo, and we have such a chaotic lifestyle, always on the clock that sometimes we forget to enjoy the process of it, and start working on being grateful of each day step by step–and sharing that knowledge will make more people blessed of their everyday achievements

How can our readers further follow your work online?

VMOD instagram

Annaiss Yucra instagram

VMOD x Annaiss Yucra

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

Modern Fashion: Fashion Designer Annaiss Yucra On The 5 Things You Need To Lead a Successful… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.