Carolina Ganan is the creative and innovative mind behind the brand Airavata Swimwear. She has been running the company for a short period of time, but with a clear view of how the brand is going to grow. Based in Medellin, a place of passion and love, she wants to share the story of Colombia, its rich culture, diversity, colors, people, and values through the Airavata Swimwear brand. Airavata has a passion for fulfilling their social responsibility through #madeinprison which includes female prisoners in Medellin, Colombia the craftsmanship process of the unique swimwear where they learn the art of embroidery which further helps them become re-incorporated into society. Beautiful, luxurious, and unique are all words that come to my mind when I come across Airavata’s designs. At Veranera we are honored to be proud promoters and ambassadors of Colombian talent and we wanted to give our audience a clear view of the designers behind the brands we carry, so when the opportunity to have the chance to sit down and chat with Carolina to get a better understanding of who she is and what inspires her & her designs, we were incredibly excited! Read more about our interview below:
Tell me a little about yourself, how and when did you decide that you wanted to design swimwear and create Airavata?
I started Airavata in 2015 when I finished College in Barcelona and moved back to Colombia. My friends that own a beautiful store in Medellin called, Makeno, and my family motivated me to start my own brand since independent Colombian designers in that time were having a moment, specially designers based in Medellin. Colombian fashion was getting a lot of attention therefore, it was an ideal moment to start my brand with the support of my friends and my family. It began with the ideas and inspiration that
I brought with me from Barcelona and finally, Airavata was born.
Let’s talk about #madeinprison. When did you decide you wanted to include the El Pedral Inmates as a core part of your brand?
Since day one of starting this business I knew I wanted my brand to not only be about fashion, but to have a social responsibility behind it. So I started doing some research on ways to be an asset to the community, something that our brand could do that wasn’t about fashion. We had the idea to incorporate that with our signature style, which is the sequined embroidery and we realized that we could give an opportunity to a group that is often deprived of opportunities. That is when we came upon the women of the prison in Medellin. We presented them with the idea of creating a workshop for the women inside to hand embroider our bikinis. This activity helps them have a purpose and re-incorporate them into society, but they are also being compensated to help support their families from prison. We have been working with them for over 4 years now.
All your designs are extremely detailed and work with embroidery in most of the styles. What inspired you to make this the signature style of Airavata?
We wanted to create a brand that was totally different from what was already on the market. Being different and unique is something that is extremely important to us. We know that our brand isn’t massive precisely because it is a brand that is completely focused on the design and creation of each garment. Every piece we create, we treat it as its own unique experience with a detailed and handmade production that can take up to 15 days to complete. The part we wanted to focus on the most when we decided to make embroidery and sequins our staple was to create a brand that had pieces that were made specifically for special occasions where the customer wants to stand out. Like a
bachelorette party or an event on a yacht. We pride ourselves on being an exclusive brand with unique limited pieces. Once one of our pieces is sold out, it is taken off our website. That way we can keep our promise to our customers that they are getting exclusive swimwear.
In your new collection- Central Asia, h ow did you decide that you wanted to focus on Asia for this collection?
For this new collection what inspired us is in the title, Asia. We called it Central Asia because we didn’t want to pinpoint one specific country or city. We decided to take all of Asian culture and draw from it, of course there are a lot of aspects to that, but we took what was the most significant and representative of that. I took what most inspired me from that and translated it into swimwear. We divided the collection into different groups. Black and white that goes with yin & yang and balance. Another group focuses on gold pieces. We have the blossom group which is all about florals and the signature cherry blossoms that are found in Asia.
What kind of style would you say you get inspiration from when designing a piece? And what would you say your personal style is?
Before anything, I think it’s important to say that I try to design pieces that aren’t what the mainstream style/look is. I don’t look to currents trends to pull inspiration from or to look at what type of style to do next. When I'm designing, I try to stay true to whatever it is that I like. When I come up with a theme for a collection, I get inspired and I research it. I look for inspiration pictures and from there the designing process begins. One thing I always make sure of is that everything I design,
I would wear myself. I wouldn’t want to put a product out on the market if I wouldn’t even buy it. I try to stay in the sphere of making my swimwear commercial, but interesting at the same time. As far as my personal style, I am fully Airavata. I am loyal to what I design and Airavata is a representation of who I am.