What brought you to NYC?
It has always been my dream to live and work in NYC. Fortunately, I was accepted to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in 2006 and moved here to pursue my degree in Fashion Design. It's been almost six years now and I can't imagine leaving!
How did you hear about Nomi Network?
I was taking a couple handbag design classes during school and became very interested in accessory design. Coincidentally, I was also taking a World Affairs course that brought my attention to the issue of sex trafficking. I was speaking to one of my good friends who was familiar with the issue and, knowing my interest in handbag design, suggested that I meet the founders of Nomi Network.
What inspires your design? What inspires you in general?
I can't really pinpoint what inspires me, but the artist, Ruben Toledo, once said to "always have your antenna up." I think that is they best way to describe what inspires me. When you constantly tune into your surroundings, current events and experiences - they all intersect to create ideas. The idea with the greatest frequency wins. I think that's the "aha!" moment. I am probably most often tuned into art, though, and the interaction of colors and shapes. I could easily spend an entire day at a good museum.
What is your favorite Nomi product and why?
I really love the quilted cosmetic case. Cosmetic cases are the perfect item for our bright palette and I love the color-blocking technique we used in this piece with the contrasting zipper and tassel. Plus, the size is great because it is easy to throw in your purse. It perfectly fits all the essentials! The zip wallet is also another favorite of mine!
Why are you passionate about fashion and Nomi Network?
I love fashion because it is an artistic expression and can have a positive effect on the person wearing it. I know that fashion alone cannot make someone happy, but it can contribute! I love creating pieces that enhance someone's life in both a utilitarian and aesthetic way. To me, that is good design and I love the challenge. I am so passionate about Nomi Network because it allows design to be used for the greater good. Each time someone purchases a Nomi Network product, they are helping to spread awareness and empower women. The more you wear these products, the more you share the brand Buy Her Bag Not Her Body®, and the more you become a part of the solution.
- Diana Mao