Once upon a time, I worked as a video editor for The Home Depot. It’s a gigantic corporation with a ton of employees who hold very intriguing positions – some I never even knew existed until securing a job there. One woman in particular that fascinates me holds the title of “Director of Trend & Design.” Her role is to travel around the globe to get design inspiration for the products that land on The Home Depot’s shelves. This style guru, who draws insight from international fashion shows and design exhibitions, does for a living what many of us do when we travel: absorb the culture around us and learn from it.
Now, there’s a new business on the block using this same method to bring you amazing designs lovingly crafted out of global experiences. Kimberly Solana, the mastermind artist behind the creative new brand, 8ttava, is a St. Lucian native who lives and works in The United States, but draws inspiration for her artistic creations from places all around the world. One thing that sticks out about 8ttava is its creator’s choice of materials to work with. From thick canvas to chic clothing, Kimberly Solana forges one-of-a-kind artwork that can be placed on a wall or worn on your body – and she does it all with several strokes of a paint brush.
The Caribbean beauty stopped by my humble abode to give me a sneak peek into her hand-painted clothing line and I was flattered to learn that some of her latest hot designs were inspired by Travel Lushes. I love absorbing the styles of other cultures when I travel and was nonetheless thrilled to see some of those experiences translated into artwork. As I filmed her modeling the wardrobe, I noticed the exoticism embedded in each piece. The word “paradise” most often came to mind as the 8ttava owner spun around in various outfits ranging from a black chiffon skirt with a hand-painted hummingbird and vibrant hibiscus flowers, to a jersey dress that resembled what I can only describe as a beautiful African face spilling multicolored tears fashioned from a watercolor effect.
At the end of the shoot, Kimberly Solana gave us a quick explanation of what 8ttava actually means. So where does the name come from? The symbol ‘8va’ is an abbreviation of the word ‘ottava,’ Italian for ‘octave,’ and acts as a musical command indicating a note will be played an octave higher than what was written. She craftily blended the symbol with its pronunciation to create both a brand and a promise that the symphony of art, music and color will be combined boldly on exclusive pieces for her supporters. No two pieces are ever exactly alike, so if you own an 8ttava piece, you are likely to become a trendsetter in globally inspired style.
How does traveling the globe inspire you? Let us know in the comments section below.