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Style Profile: Artiss Akarra

Posted on August 31 2015

THE LOOK

Style Profile: Artiss Akarra

Designer and founder EIGHT United Republic Affair by Jeanette St. Pierre

How did your time at RISD inspire you to create your own line of swimwear and sunglasses?
My time at RISD laid the foundation for my ability to turn my creative thoughts and ideas into tangible, wearable products. It was that educational training and 14 years of experience designing and manufacturing for national and international brands that paved the way for me to design and develop all of the segments of theEIGHT brand.

What is it about Rhode Island that made you want to start your business here?
I was born and raised in South Florida, so staying in Rhode Island after college wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was the right choice. I started my design business right out of RISD and began working with large local manufacturers such as Uvex and North Safety, I’ve also worked with 3M, Foster Grant and other local eyewear manufacturers through the years. So being in RI has helped me maintain my corporate relationships while forging new ones.

Describe your everyday style.
Any given day you might find me in casual jeans and a pullover ready to design and innovate; a pair of jeans or pants and a button down with rolled up sleeves ready for a casual business meeting; or black slacks, button up and blazer ready for a corporate boardroom review or net-working event. My everyday style is fashionably functional.

Most women (including this one) hate to try on bathing suits. What sort of tips do you have to make the experience better?
Invest in suits that allow enough fit that can accommodate your changing figure without compromising com-fort, or more importantly, your own sense of confidence. Keep an open mind and go into the experience with the idea that you’re likely to find new suits that not only complement your figure, but also renew your sense of style. The launch of the EIGHT mobile showroom and boutique has given me the ability to experience first-hand the difficulty women have trying on swimsuits. My swimwear is made from special form-fitting Lycra that allows for fluctuating up or down a few sizes with-out compromising comfort. The collection includes a wide range of cuts, sizes, fits, colors and patterns to please even the toughest critic.

What else are you working on?
I’m debuting new fashion accessories soon, such as hats, shoes and jewelry. I’m also launching new aviator sunglasses with flash lenses in a few months.

You can find Artiss’ mobile showroom at events like the Providence Flea.

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