Joe: Wellness, Inclusiveness, Uniqueness & Girlboss-ness

March 20, 2020

At Aquí, we take our cuppa Joe very seriously. Rest assured, because the same applies when it comes to design. As avid coffee drinkers, we often ask, “How do you like your coffee?” And as a creative boutique, we like to ask, “How do you like your design?” Joe is a blog segment where we - #TeamAquí - share our design inspirations.


More than a clothing brand

Maria is the best amongst us at keeping fit. She goes to yoga at least twice a week and does spinning during lunch hours while the rest of us are busy stuffing ourselves. Fuelling her interest in health and wellness, she often finds herself reading up on health tips and listening to podcasts led by experts. At this week’s sharing, Maria told us that she had recently discovered an Instagram account featuring all things healthy.

Sporty & Rich Wellness Club is an extension of the Sporty & Rich NYC-based lifestyle label founded by Emily Oberg. Their Instagram feed looks like a well-curated vintage mood board, featuring photos taken in the 80s or 90s. If you click on any of their posts, you realise that what they actually offer are fast facts related to the upkeep of the physical and mental wellbeing. Other than being an influencer, Oberg is famously known for her creative direction. Her deep understanding of fashion and design , combined with her passion for health and wellness has turned the brand into something more than a clothing label.

“My hope is that with this page you will gain a deeper understanding of all things wellness, and become more in tune with your body and mind, and how to care for it as best you can,” Oberg says in an interview with Hypebae.

Maria emphasizes that these fast facts are presented and written in a way that does not make you feel like you are being marketed to, something that made her read the posts from the start till the end - “Which is rare,” Maria exclaimed.


The Future is Inclusive

Maria squealed as she saw Nella type in the search bar. When the website appeared, we got even more eager for Nella to start sharing. She began the session by explaining how she (and most of us) take for granted the ease of carrying out our daily tasks - buttoning and unbuttoning, pulling up a zip, etc. These tasks are not exactly the easiest for everyone, which is why EveryHuman is an important brand and representation.

EveryHuman is a disability-inclusive brand - a curated online platform for lifestyle-driven adaptive clothing and footwear. “Too many people compromise their needs, independence or identity because they can’t access high quality, stylish, adaptive clothing. We are here to solve that problem, and all that it represents,” as stated on their website. The brand empowers their buyers to be who they want to be by providing them adaptable fashion options that are stylish and high-quality.

The brand name is made up of two simple words that fully encapsulates the idea of the brand, which we think is genius. The brand identity of EveryHuman, designed by Studio Chenchen, is soft, simple and breezy, which is what the experience of using their product is like. Their Instagram content really highlights the personality of the brand and the versatility of the design.

“It’s important to have these brands to raise awareness for the disabled. Most of them have very strong personalities and they need to be well-represented,” says Nella.


Finding your style

“She’s well-known, so you might have seen her works being featured in magazines or advertisements before,” says Evelyn. Her name is Maria Švarbová and she is a photographer. At that point, we were all in awe of the colours that were being displayed on the screen. How do we describe Švarbová’s works? Her style is not one that we are able to decipher right away - it is uncommon and eccentric, although it does remind us a little of Wes Anderson.

“Maria’s distinctive style departs from traditional portraiture and focuses on experimentation with space, colour, and atmosphere. Taking an interest in Socialist era architecture and public spaces, Maria transforms each scene with a modern freshness that highlights the depth and range of her creative palette,” as written on Švarbová’s website.

It was very therapeutic to go through Švarbová’s works as you observe the bold colours that she experiments with in her edits to bring out the important aspects of each piece. “There is a lot of creative direction and editing involved in her works to achieve that level of consistency in terms of style and quality,” Evelyn told us with respect. The first time she came across Švarbová’s works, Evelyn downloaded them to use as wallpapers.

“What really inspires me is her ability to develop a style that is so unique and recognizable, because that is what will set you apart from others.”


Singapore’s Girl Boss

Revealing one of her favourite local illustrators this week, Yu Ting told us “I don’t know why I haven’t shared about her on Joe yet!” She literally has one of the illustrator’s old stickers pasted on her laptop.

Lydia Yang (also referred to as Oak & Bindi) is a girl boss. She is an illustrator who has worked on projects for Guess® x A$AP Rocky, Shinola Journals (Detroit, USA), and Bvlgari. Also, she has a personal label Die Hard Lover (DHL) and had recently started a local boutique By Appointment Only. Wait - we’re not done yet - she is also the co-founder of Tell Your Children, a local creative collective.

Photo from Heroine

Lydia’s notable illustration style is highly inspired by vintage cartoons from the 1940s-1960s, but yet it packs a kind of playfulness and energy that makes it truly unique and recognizable. We spent about ten minutes scrolling through her Instagram with the sole intent of checking out her illustrations (which we did) but ended up getting fashion and photography inspiration along with it. What we also found out through the whole social media stalking was that a lot of inspiration is drawn from her surroundings and day-to-day musings.

“My creative aesthetic usually revolves around current-day artistic and visual language, specifically in street culture. I tend to base my designs off the textures and colors of my immediate environment—anything from street signage to gaudy storefronts/fonts are inspiration to me,” Lydia said in an interview with Heroine.

“She does so many things - paint murals, illustrate, start a label and boutique, and many more. I don’t know how she does it, but her passion and drive inspire me and many other local creatives,” Yu Ting expresses at the end of the session.


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