Alena Kalana Designs

Interview with Fashion Designer Alena Kalana

Alena Kalana Designs

Photos by Angelito Vandam

Up-and-coming fashion designer Alena Kalana offers funky, original, dazzling designs. Originally hailing from Guam, Kalana’s latest work draws on inspiration from traditional Asian design, though the focus of these pieces is more on the various textiles she uses in her work. The incorporation of godets, zippers, sequins and other minute details only add to the dramatic flair of each piece––a dramatic flair that is resistant to typical fashion rules.

These designs find a satisfying balance with organic and feminine elements to create a quirky style all her own. What started out in a high school fashion course has grown into a passion that will make the name Alena Kalana known in the world. We spoke with this new de- signer about her creative process and why fashion is the industry she wants to thrive in.

How did you get started in fashion design?
​I came to the realization at a very young age that clothing and fashion have a power on overall public per- ception. This fueled my fascination and appreciation for clothing’s transformative abilities. [Later on], a fashion course in high school was being offered, so I signed up.

Alena Kalana Designs

What do you hope to experience as a designer?
​I have yet to fully experience seeing people wearing my clothing, aside from models in fashion shows. I can only imagine how gratifying it must be to create some- thing that people want to own, wear and, most impor- tantly, appreciate.

Where would you say your inspiration comes from?
​People, human aspirations, nature and the process of creation.

Human aspirations? Explain that further. How does this inspire you? How would you say human aspirations are depicted in your work?
​[I pull on] the general desire for us to be different and unique. For me, this is a hard desire to fulfill when most of the items or ideas we consume are mass-produced or mass-marketed. With my particular collection, I wanted to create a collection with pieces that were more demure in silhouette, sophisticated in the amount of detail and fabric chosen, yet playful and strong. My hope was to create pieces that are unique now but will still have rele- vance in twenty years.

How would you describe your creative process?
​Very organic! No real structure.

Finally, what is one word you want people to as- sociate with your brand?

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