Q&A with Sheena

Earlier this spring, as I was launching the first capsule collection, I did an interview with Alexis of Haute Americana, an online publication dedicated to covering the latest in American-made fashion. Read on for some further insights into the brand and myself.  

My design career began… with a textile internship at Zac Posen in 2004. I wasn’t even studying design at the time. I was a sophomore in college, studying art and literature, so the internship really was an introduction to the fashion industry and I’ve pretty much been hooked ever since.

Designing at fashion powerhouses… has taught me how to work with and manage other people, as well as how to run a team and a fashion company.

Starting my own line… is so exciting! I just launched in April of this year and am learning as I go. I’m really looking forward to designing and finishing my next few collections and building the brand.

Abacaxi is… the Portuguese word for pineapple, and one of my favorite words. I love the way it sounds (uh-bah-ka-shee), the way it is spelled, as well as the fact that in Portuguese they say “Que abacaxi” (what a pineapple) instead of “what a pickle.” When I travelled up the Northern coast of Brazil about 5 years ago, I also loved the fruit sellers on the beach and the way they yell out “abacaxiiiii” and “acaiiiii” everywhere you go. Pineapples are like a symbol of luck to me, they seem to always bring good things. Those who know me would probably say that I have an obsession with not only pineapples, but with all tropical fruit. It’s true! Tropical fruit is totally my jam.

For inspiration I…  travel, take photographs, collect photos and other objects, scour the internet and magazines and think about what I would like to be wearing next year.

Travel inspires my designs… always.

Working with ornate re-purposed fabrics… is something I plan on continuing in my future collections. You will definitely see more of that in future abacaxi styles.

My personal style… is pretty eclectic. Most days you’ll find me wearing a handful of colors and mixed textures and patterns, but on occasion, you’ll catch me wearing all black. I love getting dressed up and wearing sequins, beading and silk, but I also love just wearing a cotton caftan and sandals. I would describe my style as bohemian, lighthearted, adventurous and seductive.

Most prized item in my closet… is a heavy, detailed, sterling silver tribal choker that goes down to my belly. I just got it from my mom she bought it in Delhi in the 70′s (or 60′s?) and I haven’t even worn it out yet! Those kind of pieces just don’t exist anymore.

My favorite American-made brands… are Clover Canyon, Rag & Bone, Upstate and Suno.

This summer I’m most looking forward to… my trip to Ladakh, India in July! It’s a remote area in the Himalayas that is sure to be inspiring.

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