Designer Alex Possenti Talks Being Responsibly Chic and Her Line Yanomami

Alex Possenti is the founder of accessory brand, Yanomami, a unique line of handbags and hats manufactured by indigenous women of her native Venezuela.   Inspired by the tribe native to the Amazon forest, the line uses ecological materials and promotes fair paid jobs to individuals in her country while empowering them with fair trade and continuing to share their story.

Alex is no stranger to culture.   She has lived and worked in many countries, from chic city dwelling to bohemian bungalow living in Los Angeles.  She was really able to hone in on her business ideas after being inspired by many colleagues and clients throughout her career in hospitality.  She has always come back to what she feels has been her passion; culture and fashion.

What really motivated you start your own fashion brand?  Two years ago traveling in India visiting different bazaars, and the energy of the people left a lasting impression.  My Italian side of the family work in fashion and my mother's side is much more bohemian so, I have a little of both.  My friends always complimented my style and encouraged me to start something so I did.

Compared to other cities, what attracted you to the Los Angeles style?  I always felt there was a good energy here.  How I have spent my time here is how I imagined LA was about; the white Jeep Wrangler, cruising in Malibu and even this bungalow I live in now on Laurel Canyon.  I've had wonderful experience.

Why is social responsibility important to you when creating your brand?  Social responsibility played a huge part developing this brand.  I wanted to make sure the manufacturing process was taking place in a safe environment and that I could design a product that could maximize benefits to people making the product while minimizing the impact on the environment. Yanomami is designed using natural materials, we are creating employment opportunities for women in the third world countries, paying and treating  them ethically. 

In a few days, you're moving to Tulum for another work opportunity and to continue developing your brand.  How does a young vibrant woman keep a work/life balance?  It is all about time management and being wise about where you spend your time?  I have been lucky not to be micro-managed allowing me to be productive wherever I go.

You've spent a lot of time experiencing the world IRL.  Has there been any inspiration drawn from social media?  I like to follow muses whose fashion sense I love and imagine them in a Yanomami hat or with our bag.  I come across most inspo on Instagram.

Favorite app?  Love to edit photos on VSCO app and a grid app to help me on my Yanomami Instagram.

What was the last thing you bought that you first came across on social media?  I would have to say last year's Oyster Holdings Adidas pink suede sneaker. It was the first sneaker that I saw on Instagram that I was like, "I need to get this sneaker right now" and so I went to the RSVP store back when I was living in Chicago and snatched them right away before they were sold out. 

What was your last splurge?  I love to splurge haha.  I really love my Moschino spray can bag and Gucci Marmont metallic silver mules.  Also, love Prada and Bottega Veneta because of the Italian in me.

How do you enjoy fashion without falling into over consumption, which is seriously affecting our environment and poor wage workers outside the US?  I exchange a lot go my clothes with close friends and relatives.  You will be surprised to see a friend make a great outfit out of something you think is out of style in your closet.  Also, I recently took bags of clothes to Exchange Buffalo to sell a lot of old clothes and got in return at the store a really nice jacket that became my all time favorite jacket.  It was a $1000 jacket, a total steal!