Armed with a love for crochet, up-and-coming designer Danae Solomon creates pieces that twist the classic thread with modern themes and is making a splash this summer. Her brand, DIAS Designs, spins the wooled textile into sultry couture from dresses to cover-ups and swimsuits.
The 19-year-old creative-turned-entrepreneur developed a deep crush on crochet four summers back. In an almost instantaneous way, it made Solomon want to pick up the slow-living activity and make it hers. “I was overseas, with nothing to do, and after seeing the uniqueness of crochet outfits online, I went out and bought the materials then began teaching myself,” she told Flair. “Self-expression and creating with my hands means everything to me, and I always go for what I want. It’s the best decision I have ever made,” Solomon continued.
The first pieces she created and sold were crop tops, but it took her some time to get there. “The very first one I made was messy, and the stitches were untidy, so before taking the step towards retail, I practised because I wanted quality products. The first crop top I sold was much more attractive and neatly done in comparison,” she said.
DIAS Designs sees crochet intrinsically linked to the way of life that the younger generation is getting into. Solomon pointed out, “Most young people will learn from their grandmothers (or someone older) or will remember them as table dollies or runners, but crochet can be made into some of the skimpiest outfits … after all, crochet is done with string, so there are endless possibilities.”
She added, “I don’t think people have really seen how versatile crochet is. The majority of the time, any clothing item constructed of cloth can be done in crochet. And when I do a custom-made outfit for a customer, no matter what it is, the modern-day woman will feel excited, sexy and confident.”
The United Kingdom, Nigeria and the diversity of the designers in the two countries have inspired her, but she also looks home – even as she explores the ‘university of YouTube’ and the digital space – for ideas. “I feel like crochet will always be on the fashion scene, and I take advantage of this by using it as inspiration to recreate what I have seen or just go ahead and create my own forward-thinking designs. But until the website is up and running, persons will have to order via Instagram @dias_designs.”
Although not obsessing over trends, DIAS Designs is riding off crochet’s wave in the global fashion space for Spring/Summer 2021 with brands like Valentino, Anna Sui, Fendi, Zimmerman and Kate Spade. She aspires to make extravagant and intricately detailed designs for the runway, but for now, she is readied up for the beach with swimsuit designs, as well as dresses, which are sexy and maybe grandma won’t approve of but are perfectly summery.