on Fashion, Travel, and Inspiration
Ayshea Ma'at is an emerging stylist and travel enthusiast currently based in the United States. Through this interview, she discusses at length her interest and introduction to fashion, the cultural influence her travels provide her outlook on styling, positivity and self love during the pandemic, and achieving her goals.
Q: What is your relationship with style?
A: I’d say my relationship with style is pretty adventurous. For a long time this was the only way for me to effectively express myself. My journey has definitely had its ups and downs, yet it continues to guide me to make positive lifestyle choices and changes. Style keeps me uplifted, inspired, and motivated. It helps me maintain a positive mindset. Everyone has their own thing that they get excited about or makes them light up with joy. Fashion and style is for sure one of mine. Through styling I’ve not only learned so much about myself, but others as well. You don’t even have to be into fashion for style to lift your mood. It can be anything from a cool pair of jeans that you got for a steal or gaining a bit more confidence to wear a new shirt out. Even though it’s not always easy and effortless, styling is the most exciting part for me and has shaped my attitude on trying something new, regardless of whether it relates to fashion or not.
Q: What are your current style influences?
A: My influences tend to be a mix of different models, artists, magazines, and brands. Recently, Artificial Intelligence models have really caught my eye. Shudu (@shudu.gram) and Miquela (@lilmiquela) are two of my faves. Not only because of their unique look, but I’m also fascinated by the work that goes into AI advertisements. There’s almost limitless opportunities for them because they can work with anyone, anywhere, and at any time. The creators are brilliant and the execution is beautiful. Even though these models aren’t real, I still aspire to be just as versatile. I enjoy keeping up with unique artists and discovering new forms of inspiration from all over the world - so magazines like Refigural and The Comm are my go to's at the moment. As for clothing, alternative looks by Morph8ne (@morph8ne_official), Fairy tale Garments by Selkie (@selkie), and Cold Laundry (@coldlaundry) are what’s keeping me going at the moment.
Q (continued): Have they changed over time?
A (continued): Yes! The more people I meet, the more places I travel to and the more situations that I experience all influence me to change up my look quite often. I find inspiration from so many more sources than the few that I mentioned, so it’s very hard for me to stick to any one style.
Photo by Monyeka (@monyeka_)
Photo by Monyeka (@monyeka_)
Q: You are travel goals! How has your experience around the world influenced you as an artist and as a person?
A: Aw thanks! Honestly, I’m so grateful to have been able to experience and visit such beautiful parts of the world with some of my favorite people. As an artist, these travel experiences encourage me to expand my knowledge on the unique ways different people express their culture, especially through fashion and art. As an individual, these travel experiences empower me to be more adventurous, open-minded, and most importantly to just be myself. I am lucky that I often come across very inspiring people during my travels where I gain knowledge that aids in my growth as an individual and artist.
Q: You always present yourself with such amazing confidence, beauty, and humility! What keeps you feeling confident?
A: I wake up with the mindset that everyday is an opportunity to gain something. This approach motivates me to be the best that I can be to myself and others. If things go wrong, I try to remember that I can revise my attitude and outlook either the next day or sometimes even after a few hours. My friends are also the best hype squad a person could have.
Photo by Chi Ta (@chita.cora)
Q: How have you been practicing self-love during our current difficult times?
A: I am an extrovert so personally, the busy atmosphere of a cafe hanging out with my friends gives me all the energy I need to thrive. So slowing down is something that I haven’t been successful at, however with the current difficult times it has made me figure out ways to make it work and to take a step back. For instance, I never thought I’d be using FaceTime so much in my life. One way I’ve been practicing self-love is by staying connected to my community of friends. There are also quite a few hobbies that I stopped making time for over the years so being able to get back in touch with things that I know bring me joy has been comforting.
Photo by Ashley Crawford (@blaxula.13)
Q: What’s your fashion forecast for this decade?
A: I honestly think that more people are going to step out of their comfort zone and try out styles they usually wouldn’t go for. Especially after a long time of having to stay at home, I can see these difficult times resulting in encouraging people to be more bold and to go all out when they can. Also, I feel that the much needed attention to modest clothing will be more apparent. I usually don’t see too many models, stylists, or physical stores dedicated to modest clothing, so I am anticipating seeing that change. We’ll see what happens, I’m excited either way!
Photo by Benjamin Baker (@nosrslywherearetheavocados)
Q: What has been your favorite project that you have worked on?
A: Recently, I was featured in an issue of The Comm. It’s definitely my favorite collaboration thus far and what made this experience extra special was that the team I got to work with consisted of a few of my best friends!
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to experiment with their own style?
A: Go for it! If you're not confident, be patient with yourself because trying something new can be challenging at first. A great way to start is by making small adjustments so that you’ll become more comfortable coming into your own style. At the end of the day, dressing up is supposed to be fun! I would encourage you to find more artists that inspire you to experiment as well.
Q: How do you view the relationship between fashion and art?
A: I view fashion as a form of art. Without art, fashion could not exist. Originally, art is what led me to realize how much I love fashion.
Q: What’s next for you and your work?
A: I have been busy preparing to move to South Korea towards the end of the year. Even though there is a lot going on right now, words cannot express how grateful I am to have this opportunity to have one of my dreams come true.
Photo by Yên Vũ Makeup
Headline photo by Benjamin Baker (@nosrslywherearetheavocados). For more work by Benjamin Baker, view the Working Artists Collective current exhibition, Body Electric, at the following link: