Athena Newton | Nyx by Athena
Tell us about why you decided to start your own brand!
Starting my own brand was based on a need. I didn’t see anything I liked in the stores I could afford, and everything I liked were in stores I couldn’t afford :) So, I decided to start Nyx by Athena based on clothing and textiles I loved to wear.
What throughout the process surprised you the most? This can be business-related, an epiphany you had about yourself while launching, anything!
That’s a great question! From a business perspective, how incredibly involved it is to begin your brand. I used to consider myself a more artistically savvy person than a ‘shrewd’ business woman. I love the creative process, particularly choosing the fabric for each look. It wasn’t until a few months back, a dear friend of mine took me to my first capsule show in NYC (I’ve been to many overseas but not as a designer). It was then that it truly hit me how business minded you had to be when you’re running your own brand. The sheer amount of detail, paperwork, percentages, linesheets, factory orders… this can make your headspin if you’re not organized (even if you are organized, it’s a real pain in the ass :)).
From an artistic/creative angle, I always find that I learn more about myself when I select my fabrics. I never went to fashion school, therefore I can say with confidence that my method is very unconventional. I tend to have a certain fabric in mind first, then go from there. I rarely start with a sketch, but rather an idea of how I would like a fabric to flow on me (if this makes any sense?). I’m prone to sueded silk, silk lamé and deep velvets… all things incredibly rich and seductive yet very relaxed and easy to wear, which I think communicates a lot about who I am. But I guess, that’s what fashion is about; constructions and reconstructions of identity.
What is the first instance you remember fashion and design being in your life?
The first time I saw MTV’s house of style, I may have been around 7 or 8. I thought “I wanna wear what Cindy’s wearing!”
Your styles are amazingly whimsical and unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Thank you <3 I feel as though I was a disco queen in my past life, and anything resembling that flowy, sexy, seductive motif I am ALL about! Brandon Maxwell, Yves Saint Laurent, Halston, Gucci, Tom Ford, Calvin Klein and Missoni are my true sources of inspiration. Of course the list goes on, but if I had to narrow it down, it would be them. Also, this may sound weird, but for color scheme, nature is a great source of inspiration; specifically birds. Exotic birds have the most beautiful coat (or is the term ‘down’) of feathers and the colors tend to match so well! Butterflies and fish embody the same.
You also work as a Social Media and Marketing Manager. What does balance look like for you?
It doesn’t, lol. At this moment, I hit the ground running on a daily basis. So perhaps I’m not the best person to answer this question. I have this horrible tendency to think that I’m 3 people at once and I can conquer the world by 6:00 pm just in time for happy hour. However, I’m learning that there is no value is exhausting yourself and that your work bears the brunt of that type of behaviour. I’m learning to do what I can and if I can’t finish everything, that’s okay too. Part of growing up is realizing how valuable your health is, and to therefore not sweat the small stuff. I’m also lucky to have amazing friends and family in my life to motivate me to create that balance.
If we looked on your desk we would see…
An absolute mess! But it’s a calculated mess so I’m good ;)
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, what do you do to build yourself back up?
Take time for myself to think rationally. Get a massage.
If you could share any career advice with our readers, what would it be?
Try not to listen to too many people unless you believe the advice your given is constructive. Listen to yourself, value your choices. There is no such thing as a mistake. Above all, keep on moving, but at a pace which makes you feel healthy and comfortable. Cities like New York can feed you so much bullshit, and too often you feel can as though you’re never doing enough. Don’t feed into that. Enjoy your life and what you do.
What keeps you up at night?
My shitty mattress which I need to get rid of. Suggestions for a better one?
What does being an entrefemmeur mean to you?
It’s a woman who values her choices, and tries not to doubt herself. She owns what she does do because it’s part of who she is. She loves her body and appreciates her intellect and holds onto her values. She tries not to take anything personally and is kind to others because she knows that everyone has their own story and their own hardships.