Each week we will be highlighting one of the fabulous emerging designers from Phoenix Fashion Week 2018. This week, meet Ariel Hodge, the 25-year-old creator and designer of Åma Sea Pearl, opulent pearl jewelry for the exceptional individual.
Hometown: South Phoenix
First fashion job: I actually never had a fashion job due to being in school. Though, I’ve always wanted to be a fashion illustrator for a brand.
When did you know you had a passion for fashion: When I took my first fashion design class in high school.
Person who has impacted your life the most: I look up to my mother, as she embodies strength to keep moving forward, an attribute I try to reflect in myself. Watching my mother remain strong in the face of adversity has given me encouragement and strength which compels me to take my art and jewelry to the highest level. Every day I spend with my mom I am reminded of the extraordinary strength and perseverance of a self-possessed black woman. Her continual encouragement has sculpted me into the designer I am today and continues to inspire me.
Your biggest fashion accomplishment in your eyes: I would say getting accepted into ASU’s MFA Metals program, despite coming from a fashion design background with only a single semester of fine art classes. My second accomplishment is being accepted into Phoenix Fashion Week DesignerBootcamp.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: More so a work in progress, is coming out of my shell as a designer, as an artist and as a person. Another obstacle is the jewelry I make is one-of-a-kind. However, this uniqueness reflects my brand as I desire the wearer to connect with the piece and express their individuality.
A designer who inspires you: It would be Sarah Canizzaro of KojimaPearls, she is very genuine and encouraging. I appreciate her advice from one pearl jeweler to another one. Truly, a designer to look up to.
Favorite quote: “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”-Maya Angelou
Advice to someone pursuing a career in fashion as a designer: Stay true to your unique vision and your voice!
How has the Phoenix Fashion Week #DesignerBootcamp impacted your brand? In many ways, like what is the business side and crucial inner workings required to run a successful brand. Having designed pieces on a runway is nice, but it’s even nicer to know how to make sales and ensure your brand goes far.
Favorite piece you have ever designed: I have so many! My number one piece has to be my Unity Earrings. Freshwater baroque pearl one side is pearl and the other is the reflection made in fine silver.
If you would like to attend Phoenix Fashion Week 2018, you can purchase tickets here: eventbrite.com. Use promo code FABAZ for a $20 gift card good towards any seat (not applicable towards standing room tickets).
Phoenix Fashion Week 2018 Emerging Designer Lineup
Thursday, Oct. 18 (Lifestyle):
Rockin Street Wear
Friday, Oct. 19 (Contemporary):
Cody Chris Collection
Saturday, Oct. 20 (Ready to Wear):
Chau Chic Designs