March 8, 2015

Studio Session: Shaina Mote

Q&A with Shaina Mote.

Shaina Mote's inimitable designs first caught my eye on The Dreslyn and they were things I couldn't get off my mind until they were in my hands. Clean lines, elegant fabrics, and silhouettes that work for the sunniest and dreariest of days compose her versatile collections. If looks weren't enough, her transformable staples are cut from natural, renewable plant-based fibers that lend a hand at making this world a better place. How could you not get behind that? Among my personal Shaina Mote hoard, her perfect Tie Dress (worn here), a staple in each collection, works in the favor of every curve of your body and makes you feel like an earth goddess. I had to meet the woman behind the brand and I was lucky enough to take a tour of her handsome design studio in Downtown LA. Meet Shaina Mote.


Please introduce yourself

My name is Shaina Mote.  I am a fashion designer based in Los Angeles.

How did growing up in Los Angeles influence your design aesthetic?

Along with being a very easy going and laidback city, the weather is virtually seasonless. The line contains evolutionary styles that can be worn from season to season.  There is an ease in attitude in the cuts that to me mirrors the personality of the city.

 How do you find your inspiration in your creative process?

Art, philosophy, travel and friends.

 What is the one thing you want the Shaina Mote brand to be known for?

Quality, attention to detail and thoughtful design.

We love and applaud that Shaina Mote is designed and produced with an eco-conscious mind – what inspired you to pursue this mission and how do you feel about the industry’s approach and momentum to become more socially responsible?

The line is produced in LA with all local, family run factories.  This production method gives us closer-knit relationships with our manufacturers, ease of managing production and helps fuel our own local economy of makers. 

In terms of actual materials, we often use fabrics made from birch pulp based fibers (tencel, cupra, bemberg etc) as it lends itself to a high-end silk like touch, but is still breathable and durable.  This fabric is easily renewable and creates less waste to process and produce than many other popular options on the market.

I feel that the momentum to become more socially responsible is great.  If we can have more integrity within the way we work and get things done, I think we will all benefit in a myriad of ways.

Your collections are full of sleek, neutral staples with easy-to-wear cuts, yet they’re distinct with clever details. What is your favorite detail to play with?

My favorite detail to play with is anything I can give mutli-functionality to.  I have always been intrigued by the idea of evolution and reinterpretation.  For example, I have a dress coming in for next season that has a cape like pleat in back.  When undone, the side seam takes on a S shape side seam that drapes beautifully.   I love when there is a dialogue between the wearer and the piece created, something new to discover.

If there is one piece every woman must have from your collection, which would it be?

Tie Dress.  This piece embodies the core concept of the line in its versatility – it lends itself to be styled differently day to night.

How do you feel the brand has evolved since your first collection in Fall 2013?

I think the brand has stayed true to the roots and ideals within the brand philosophy.  However, I have been able to grow into developing stronger offerings for all types of categories since the line started.

What’s next for Shaina Mote? 

We are currently experimenting with new finishes and custom fabrics made from all Lyocell materials.  On a different note, we have plans to collaborate with more artists and designers within the next coming year…. Stay tuned!


Shop Shaina Mote's current SS15 collection here.

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