ShalaJa..why reality can wait

Being a west coast girl I grew up looking at the ocean, and beautiful people in swimsuits enjoying the beach. As a fashionista and fashion director of a publication I am always on the hunt of the next hot designer offering creative yet sheek  designs.  So when I was contacted to interview Shaquoya  Jackson-Ishman on her growing swimwear line ShaLaJa’ Swimwear  I was excited, due to being familiar with her work.

Below are a few questions from our discussion about her and her line.  This is part 1 of our interview.


Founder Shaquoya Jackson-Ishman

DC: What inspired you to do a swimwear collection?

SJI:  My ShaLaJa swimwear collection inspiration was really random. I pretty much prayed for a passion and a calling, and a few months later I started designing swimwear. That’s pretty much how it happened.

DC:  How do you balance creativity with commerce?

SJI: I don’t really pay attention to what’s popular at the moment. When I create my designs, I do whatever comes to my mind. It’s just me and my Ipad, so there is no competition with the commerce. Whatever I do is what I do.

DC: What are your goals as a designer, both short term and long term?

SJI: My short term goal is to open up my own store. Eventually, I want to become a well-known designer throughout the world accommodating women with luxurious and comfortable swimwear. I really want to accommodate everyone including the tomboys. Tomboys usually don’t like anything glitz and glam so I would love to accommodate pieces for them as well. I want to accommodate every woman with every style.

DC: Do you have a specific research process when you start a new collection?

SJI: I like to look at the new fashion shows for the year. Fashion shows get me excited, so when I see the models walking down the runway feeling confident and excited about what they’re wearing I get inspired. My collections are always so random.

DC: What is your personal style?

SJI: My personal style is random. Sleek, chic, high fashion, and glamour.

DC: Is your personal style present in your designs, or do you design opposite of what you would wear?

SJI: My personal style is present a lot in my designs. Whatever clothes I like you will see present in my designs. My swimsuits look a lot like clothes and bodysuits.


Founder Shaquoya Jackson-Ishman

BIO: ShaLaJa’ Swimwear came to life in 2011 after founder Shaquoya Jackson-Ishman decided to stop searching for the ‘sexy, flirty yet sophisticated’ swimwear she desired and create it herself. Fueled by a lifelong passion for the art-and-craft of high fashion, Shaquoya set out to design a line of cutting edge swimwear that would appeal to style savvy women around the globe of all shapes and sizes.

The collections feature different ranges of pieces in an array of prints, styles, textures, colors and embellishments – from simple to space age, and everything in between. All collection highlights include creative monokinis, twisted two-pieces and one-pieces that cinch your figure into svelte mode. Future plans for ShaLaJa’ include exotic wear, Cover Ups, lounge wear and a children’s line.

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Website: ShaLaJa’ Swimwear

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Fashion Director

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