Cult Gaia Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary With Desert-Inspired SS21 Collection

Read our conversation with the cult brand’s founder Jasmin Larian — on her muses, creative inspirations and more.

Ever since the day of its inception 10 years ago, Cult Gaia has always been about Objets d’Art — things that are not just items but also conversation starters; garments and accessories that are as much about the look as they are about the feel. Now, the cult label is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a brand new Spring 2021 range — illustrating both the power and complexity of the Gaia Goddess with anchoring earth elements.

“This collection continues to honor the female body through flattering silhouettes accessorized with pieces of wearable art,” founder and designer Jasmin Larian notes. “In a softer way, the collection is made to be magnified under the glow of the evening sun, the curves of the dunes and the purity of the clear blue sky.”

Shot against a backdrop of the Pismo Beach dunes, the collection is presented through a video that serves as a visual pilgrimage to the desert’s arresting landscape, combining the effortless nature of Larian’s designs with the intentional strength of architectural joints. The range was dreamed up to tie in design aspects and patterns of Cult Gaia’s pivotal pieces over the past 10 years while also bringing a reimagined flair to the collection.

Each style in this new range is meant to interact, tie, twist, and lock together, mimicking the feeling of being in the desert and examining what the whispers and rush of the wind do to the serene surface of the dune. The prints encapsulate the glow of the evening sun, the curves of the dunes, and the purity of the clear blue sky, ushering in the new year and looking ahead into the bright future.

To celebrate the new launch, we spoke with the designer and founder Jasmin Larian about everything from her design and production processes to what being a female entrepreneur is like in 2021. Check out the full interview below:

V Magazine Congratulations on the 10-year anniversary — did you celebrate or mark the big date in any way?
Jasmin Larian Our spring collection really helped kick off our 10-year anniversary. We shot the lookbook and collection video back in 2020 with the intention of creating something beautiful and cinematic that symbolized the growth of Cult Gaia and the possibilities of what lies ahead.
V What was working on that Spring 2021 lineup like for you during these challenging times?
JL Much like everyone during this past year, we’ve had ups and downs, but I’ve also been so inspired by the strength and grace displayed by so many around the world as they’ve dealt with this past year. Rarely do we all collectively get to experience something together, so in a way, that’s been beautiful. I also love a good challenge and it has brought us a lot more intention and focus.
Spring is all about rebirth and liberation, something that is at the very core of Cult Gaia. This collection illustrates both the power and complexity of Gaia, the ancient Green goddess of earth, ancestral mother to us all through the use of natural elements, natural color palette and organic textures.

V Did any of your design, production & other creative processes change in any way over the course of this last year?
JL We were doing a lot of designing remote and had to deal with different production delays here and there. But we’re out of the woods now!
V Describe the collection to me, in your own words — what is it all about?
JL Whenever I’m designing, I’m thinking of a happy, vibrant woman who is so much more than one archetype. When it comes to the clothes, I really started exploring the way our fabrics join at the seams and how we could do that differently; much like chairs and architecture — different, unique joints to hold structures together. In a softer way, the collection is made to be magnified under the glow of the evening sun, the curves of the dunes and the purity of the clear blue sky. It ties in design aspects and patterns of Cult Gaia’s pivotal creations over the past ten years while also bringing women new, wearable pieces of art.

V And kind of going off of that — you mention in the press release that this Spring 2021 collection ‘mimics the feeling of being in the desert, examining what the whispers and rush of the wind do to the serene surface of the dune.’ What was it about the deserts and the dunes that piqued your interest?
JL Dunes remind me of the curves on a woman’s body, and I like that there are just three elements — wind to make the clothes move, sky and sun to make them glow and sand as a whisperer. I also had this fantasy that these fierce goddesses were going on a journey, chasing sandcastles.

V What do you want people to think or feel when they see, wear or interact with the pieces in any other way?
JL I always want the women who wear my designs to feel sexy, happy and confident. Also, something about the things we make people stop and ask, ‘Where’s that from?’ or ‘Wow, you look beautiful!’ I love that, it makes people connect.
V Do you have a favorite piece in this new collection?
JL Given this past year, much like our customer, I am drawn to some of the more over-the-top, extravagant pieces from the spring collection. There is definitely a pent-up need to get dressed up to feel beautiful and special. Pieces like the bright and bold Lucienne Dress, which features a dramatic one-shoulder sleeve that cascades down the body, and the one-of-a-kind Amaryllis, which is cut from organza and designed to emulate the shape of a single rose, are two of the styles I’m most excited by for spring.
V In your own words and vision, who is the Cult Gaia girl in 2021?
JL The women in my family, my friends and coworkers are my Muses — they are the Gaia Girl. They are who I spend the most time with, and I want to always create for them and make them feel like goddesses.

V Looking back at this decade-long journey as a female entrepreneur, what were some of the challenges/trials/tribulations you have faced along the way?
JL Years ago, when I first introduced the Ark Bag, it didn’t take off immediately. We built the brand upstream; we finally had direct access to our customers via Instagram; now, I could reach our customer first through beautiful images and let the product speak for itself. Then the wholesale buyers came. Very few retailers believed we could go beyond the it-bag, but we did — I just keep going and never give up, owing this to our customers and fans who have given us the opportunity.
V And what was the most rewarding part of that journey? What made you keep going and just keep chasing your dream, despite all of those challenges?
JL Seeing women around the world in my designs is still one of the most rewarding experiences. When we launched the brand, I never imagined what it would grow into and how much we would accomplish. I have an inherent desire to create, it’s in my blood. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything other than this.
V Any advice you could give to all of the emerging designers/budding female entrepreneurs out there?

JL I would encourage emerging designers and entrepreneurs to work hard, over-deliver in everything that they do and be open to collaboration and criticism, all while staying true to their vision.

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