Fashion Designer Brings 'Wanderluxe' To Philly

Racks of delicately draped vivid silk and intricately beaded fabric line the wall at Naveda's showroom. What some may see as just a shirt or a dress is the culmination of hard work and creativity by up-and-coming Philadelphia designer Amy Devan. For the atelier, the past year and a half has been a whirlwind. Her "boho meets couture," or as she likes to call it, "wanderluxe" designs have caught everybody's eye. Her designs have been featured at New York and London Fashion week and, most recently, Cannes Film Festival. 

Having always wanted to start a business before turning 30, Amy decided "if I don't follow my dream now, I never will." While working in marketing and PR and without telling anybody, she applied to Parsons. When she found out that she got in, she quit her job and moved to New York, all within two weeks. Then, she booked a ticket to India set out to network with anyone and everyone who would be willing to talk to her. She filled her schedule with four or five meetings a day with textile mills, retailers, manufacturers, buyers. After months of schooling, countless sleepless nights and a lot of coffee, her sketches finally made it to production.

Amy draws inspiration for her designs from the architecture, colors, and people she's encountered on her various travels. As a first generation American-born Indian, she visited India every year as a child and was fascinated by the mesh of bright colors and rich culture. As she got older and traveled more, she discovered different cultures and different aesthetics. From the dark, muted neutrals of Western Europe to the utilitarian New York City uniform, to the free-spirited L.A. vibe, she wanted to capture it all. Her pieces are uniquely constructed with hours upon hours going into beading them by hand.  "It's a craft, a skill, and a livelihood that's been passed down. To replace it with machinery is to do it a disservice."

As for setting up shop in Philly, Amy couldn't be more thrilled with the friendships she's been making and the overall sense of community. "People genuinely want to help each other out," she says. "There's an appreciation for collaboration. There's such a pride and Philadelphia business owners are supportive of each other." Artistically, while some may think of Los Angeles and New York City as the only hot spots for fashion, Amy sees Philadelphia as a worthy contender. "[Philly] meshes the structure of New York with the free-flowing vibe of L.A. There's a craftsmanship built into the city."

Be on the lookout for Amy and Naveda. You can browse some designs on her website or follow along on Instagram.
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