I recently had a conversation about the naming of our upcoming belts with Emi, a member of our ES Community. One of the belts is heavily inspired by the traditional obi belt but also draws from other sources of inspiration and is far from a traditional obi in its final form. We discussed how to name a product like that in a way that honors the inspiration but doesn't detract from or dilute the heritage of the authentic obi.
She suggested naming it after Ruth Asawa, a Japanese American sculptor known for her light, woven mesh works. It was such a profound suggestion; her work suggests the infinite curvature of the human form, the transformation of shape, and the manipulation of volume that we are trying to accomplish with belts. It was also touching because Emi knew that I often name clothing after women in history or in my life that are meaningful or inspiring to me, and I was so humbled and honored to learn about Asawa and to add her to my list of heroes.
We landed on naming the piece the Asawa Tie Belt, which honors the Japanese inspiration but doesn't make an inaccurate claim. I'm so thankful to have had such fruitful dialogue and just as thankful to have learned about one of my new favorite artists.
This quote from Asawa stuck with me: “A woven mesh not unlike medieval mail. A continuous piece of wire, forms envelop inner forms, yet all forms are visible (transparent). The shadow will reveal an exact image of the object.”
It gets at chasing truth, actualization, and continuity, and there is not a more noble pursuit.
While we know you have been waiting for belts and waist ties that match our garments for years, we wanted to take our time and make sure we designed pieces that would truly add value and versatility to your wardrobe. In addition to the Asawa Tie Belt, the Serpentine Wrap Belt and the Greta Waist Belt also create a multitude of options for transforming the shape of our sculptural, fluid clothing.
The Asawa Tie Belt is a wide, wrap style that overlaps and makes a bold, textured statement. The Greta Waist Belt is a classic, flat style that gives off iconic trench coat vibes. The Serpentine Wrap Belt is a delicate, winding narrow tie, perfect for cinching in light layers (I had to fight myself to not slip a Harry Potter reference into the name).
We spent some time capturing each of these (and our Clyde Outerwear pieces!) and their transformative nature on film, and I'm really excited to share it with you.
Photographed by Zachary Gray.
Hair & Makeup by Hayley Hayez.
Modeled by Anastasia Furrow and Nyamuoch Girwath.