KITTINHAWK- ALLYSUN MARIA DUTRA INTERVIEW
Allysun Maria Dutra is a local LA designer and owner of brand Kittinhawk. Her creations are an illustration of art in its freest and most candid approach. She’s been featured in countless magazines some of which are Nylon, Vogue Women’s Daily, Flaunt and Daily Candy. “My brand is a representation of magic, the ethereal realm, punk rock, glamour and all around earthy decadence. It also represents the independent spirit of design since I am so committed to hand-made and localized economy, FREEDOM from the mundane, and love for the unique!!!.” Allysun’s work has soul; her jewelry and garments are keen to life, beauty and nature. Allysun discovered her passion for designing such beautiful pieces, after she graduated college and started experimenting by making her own clothing.
“Once I began designing on a serious level, it was obvious that this was my life's work.”
Kittinhawk picked up in 2009 and has already dressed various celebs like Willow Smith, Ke$ha, Amanda Jo Williams, HAIM, Massive Attack and many more.
Q What impression do you hope to capture from your customers when they first see your work?
A A sense of aw and wonderment at the dying art of handmade craftsmanship.
Q How did you learn to create what you produce?
A I have a BFA and have studied photography, painting and have a minor in art history. I have taught myself everything just from experimenting through trial and error, I have no formal fashion, tailoring experience. I make each piece by hand- I have not taught anyone else my techniques yet but I am training people as the orders come in. the sewing will always be done by me because of the way I taught myself to sew and because I am doing couture costume type work. With the jewelry I am just now hiring staff to help me with the work load..
Q Personally I know how hard it is keeping up with demand and staying up late sewing/designing and gathering ideas, when times get tough what keeps you going?
A Spending time out of the city in nature by the ocean and in solitude. During those times I consume myself with old art films, reading, drawing and meditation.
Q Tell me a little about yourself, your hobbies, where you grew up, your travels, your main place of peace & thought. Whatever you'd like to let our readers in on so they can get to know a deeper side of you as a designer and influential artist
A I grew up in San Luis Obispo, Ca. when I am not in the studio I am, writing, reading, blogging, drawing, or painting. I have traveled the United States, Canada and for two months, lived in Peru working with shamans. My main place of peace and thought is in my bedroom underneath my fort, it’s like my little womb where I find quiet and inspiration. My ability to make art stems from the fact that I do not relate to the rest of the world. I have witnessed a lot of death in my life as well lived through several near death experiences. I am also deeply connected to earth, animals and the psychic / spirit realm which makes it both easy to create art and hard to relate to the world at times.
Q What's the next step for Kittinhawk?
A Designing a new jewelry collection that is going to be hand casted from metal. Also continuing my couture costume pieces and dresses for costuming and to continue showing for fashion week.
Q Fashion is constantly changing & the beauty of it is its unpredictability, what can you offer that other designers can't?
A Because I am a trained in fine arts and never considered myself a "fashion designer," I approach to the process of design through artistic means as though I was constructing a sculpture or painting a painting. Therefore, from an art aspect, I am purposely not following trends or participating in what others define fashion to be. Any of the ground breaking artists in history never produced art as consumable products, if you look at a Davinci painting it is just as valid today as it was when it was painted. Because of that idea I design as though Ii am making a lasting piece of art that will stand the test of time, not something to be bought and worn and then tossed aside next season.
Q Do you have plans in expanding Kittinhawk?
A Of course, I am expanding every day. Just hired new employees and got an amazing new intern. I will be showing my new couture fashion line for La fashion week and my next jewelry collection will be out in august
Q What are some details that make your designs unique, that when someone looks at it they can say "that's an Allysun Maria Dutra piece"?
A I sew like a maniac, anyone who has seen my pieces up close will see how crazy my seams are and the ways that the garments are constructed is unlike anyone else’s. my jewelry is also very mixed between a very magical other worldly element and a tough punk aesthetic, people who know me know that my personality is my work, there is no separation.
Allysun Maria Dutra makes a lot of valid points in this interview. Her perspective of life and art consumed my attention and I imagine the rest of world can see the talents she’s got to offer right through her beautiful and distinctive persona. To purchase Kittinhawk merch check out the following stores:
Stanton James- LA and online
5 and diamond- SF
FREE PEOPLE- fall catalogue
For more work by Allysun Maria Dutra
Questions about Kittenhawk?