Q&A with our Designer
With longer days and warmer weather, the UNIFY team has never been busier — and the creativity is flowing. With all the momentum, I wanted to interview our designer, Taylor Nassar, so you could learn a little bit more about her and what Unify the Ties stands for.
Where did your journey with art start and how has it impacted your dreams with Unify the Ties?
So I grew up in an environment where creativity was pretty celebrated. My parents threw me into art classes and my ‘playroom’ growing up was an art room where I would color, draw, do arts & crafts, tap into my inner weirdo. There was something about art that always pulled me in and made me feel at home...like it was my calling. I remember playing a specific game with my dad which then later in life manifested itself into my style of painting. We’d be out at dinner where they’d have paper on the tables for kids to draw. My dad would randomly come up with a squiggle line, a triangle and maybe a few dots and say “okay, now what do you see?” And he would encourage me to create a picture from the random shapes he drew. This definitely inspired me to see abstractly and to lean into shapes, connecting the dots etc. Creating from a place of intuition and an inner playfulness. I truly believe this game is where it all started for me….and now I find similar ties to that game in the way that I approach my style with painting and my design process. This is just one of manyyyy ways that I “unified the ties” to my life…….to my dreams. Every experience you go through, every person you meet all leads you to the present moment. More to come on this soon…..;)
What made you want to be a designer?
Aside from my deep love of fashion my body dysmorphia was the main catapult that drove me to wanting to ‘problem solve by design’ as I like to call it. Realizing that wearing a bathing suit, bearing it all for so many can be incredibly intimidating just as it was and still can be for me. I wanted to create pieces that took the emphasis away from the physical outer layer and really inspire inward connection which then naturally manifests to outward connection and confidence. Of course however, the fit, the quality, the fabrics, every single detail was taken into consideration to allow women to feel comfortable in their own skin as they turn inward on that inner journey.
Each UNIFY piece carries a story, a fragment of my soul....so I wanted to design pieces that invoked those feelings of connection. So that each time someone puts on a UNIFY piece they immediately associate it with feelings of love, unity, self expression, dreams….we’ve always said that this brand goes far beyond swimwear. It’s a reflection of the journey of life and all the twists and turns we take as we continue to come home to our trustest most authentic selves. Because isn’t that what life is all about?
What is your favorite part of your job?
My absolute favorite part of my job is when customers truly get the brand. When they reach out to me and share how my art or my creations have inspired them in some way, have made them feel confident...brings them joy when they put it on and inspires them to tap into their own inner super powers while wearing it. I absolutely love making people feel good about themselves and encourage them see their own inner light and inspire them to bring it to the table. WE WANT TO SEE YOU, FEEL YOU, SUPPORT YOU! And as I continue to go deeper and deeper with myself I realize the massive opportunity to hold space for others in their own healing journey just as others have done so for me. So yes, the concept of paying it forward is my favorite part of my job!
What is your inspiration when designing?
My spirituality is my biggest inspiration. Because I know that when I’m completely tapped in and in the midst of “the work” I can feel the connection and be inspired by all and anything in life. I’m connected to the elements, nature, the divine, others...and all of those things inspire me. I attract it, take it in and weave it into my process. Aside from my spiritual life giving me the inspiration I need….I always turn to color and texture. It seems to be the collective of these elements that catapults me into new depths of creativity.
What’s the Unify the Ties design process?
As I evolve, my process evolves….and its changed a lot since I designed my first collection to be completely honest. At first I used to worry if that was unusual...if I were doing something wrong. But then something in me clicked. This brand is a direct reflection of my journey through life…..things are always changing and so I too need to be open to my process changing. And I think at that moment I let go of that need to control and started to allow inspiration to flow from all different angles. So as of now, here’s my process (until it expands and evolves)! :)
I start by collecting inspiration from photos and items that resonate with my heart and soul in the present moment….in that present chapter of my life. From there I continue to refine the mood board and hone in on a specific palette I want to expand on. Expand, refine, expand, refine….allowing myself to flow with the creativity...balancing masculine and feminine energies within me.
From there the painting starts….pouring colors onto a blank slate...colors that flow from my heart through my hands and onto the canvas. I experiment, I make mistakes, I rework….I keep going. Until I hit a breakthrough with the piece….and when that moment hits I feel like I’m home and that feeling is what keeps me going. Because let’s be honest I hit bumps along the process just as we hit bumps in life. But that perseverance and trust I ultimately lean into keeps me going back to canvas wanting more...wanting to break free and break through. Freeing my soul one piece at a time.
From there I start sketching...pulling design details, different textures...fabrics...and the design process really starts. We then shoot high res photos of my pieces and digitally produce them onto the fabrics I chose. And then from there...we start making samples, we start fitting, we start refining and reworking….until things FEEL right and start to feel WHOLE.
Overall...after all of the different approaches I’ve taken….I always come back to the fact that my intuition has always been that constant factor. It’s my intuition that leads the design process.
What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever designed and why?
O0o this one is tough! From an aesthetic perspective I think it would be the Burner Two-Way Top because it’s completely unique and unlike anything I’ve seen in the industry. I remember laying in bed not being able to sleep...overthinking alllll of the things I needed to do the next day. Stressing tf OUT. And suddenly out of no where this vision dropped in front of me. At the time I was designing a lot of festival inspired pieces. It was certainly the most challenging construction and I’m pretty sure my pattern maker wanted to kill me. Sorry Lynne!! But overall what I love about this piece is that it represents “marching to the beat of your own drum” doing things your own way because it feels right...and not allowing other to syaw or deter your decisions. This top has gone through so many revisions and evolutions and its still apiece I feel really proud about even if it’s not a best seller.
How do you describe your own personal style?
Good question!! I was just thinking about this the other day and I’ve done healing work in the past where this has popped up. So, I’m a libra and I’m constantly searching for balance. Constantly flowing from right to left, black to white, up to down, light to dark….especially with my art which I like to call “balanced chaos” just like me. I realized that my personal style is absolutely like this as well. Typically in summer I tap into my divine fem...my inner hippie/inner fairy….my inner Aurora (which is the name is gave to my soul). Wearing lots of earth tones and bright vibrant colors, flowy beachy pieces...allowing me to tap into my Goddess energy. In the winter I find myself gravitating to the complete opposite….tapping into my masculine energy. Structured, streamlined sleek….I turn to wearing a lot of black, a lot of pieces with clean lines. My inner edge comes through. The seasons totally affect me as well which makes sense why I travel through dark and light season to season. For a bit I wondered if that was weird...but after going deeper with myself I realized that that was just who I was….always seeking to find balance in the polarities. Plus it keeps things fun and interesting season to season!
What’s your advice for a young professional hoping to break into the fashion industry?
I say if your soul is calling for it—GO FOR IT. Don’t allow negative perspectives from the world create resistances in your mind. You are powerful beyond measure. Continue to tap into your own creativity, your own special gifts and what you love bringing to the table..lead with that. Take opportunities that you believe will align you with your greater dream to get into the industry. Don’t be afraid of the stepping stones because they’re what will ultimately bring you to your goals. Ask questions, research, take on internships, tap into that thirst to learn. Remember…”the day you plant the seed is not the day you reap the sow.” Patience. Perseverance.
Lauren Bishop, Unify the Ties Social Media Manager
Lauren graduated from West Chester University of PA with a B.S. in Marketing and a minor in Graphic Design. Lauren loves executing creative digital campaigns and evaluating results. She has experience in marketing and design in a variety of industries, and she has always had a passion for both fashion and art. At Unify the Ties, she expresses herself through both. She and Taylor make a power team.