December 28, 2012

*Talking With* Pamela Wasabi of Wasabi Fashion Kult

Pamela Wasabi of Wasabi Fashion Kult Interview with Fashion Blogger Anais Alexandre of Down to Stars

I had so much fun stopping by The Kult, a local fashion boutique in Wynwood. Owner Pamela Wasabi is a Fashion Art Director and was so welcoming and sweet. I won't lie, with her hot pink dreads and candy red shades, she intimidated me with her effortless cool. That all disappeared though when she welcomed me into her shop with smiles to spare. 

So! Let's dig in shall we?

Me: How did you get into the creative arts? 

Pamela: I started in college. 

Were you always into fashion?

Yeah, I just didn't know it was fashion, you know. I just started dying my hair and always wore crazy things amongst my friends. It was all about fun. We use to dye our hair with tissue paper--

Wait..How do you dye your hair with tissue paper?

You buy colored tissue paper and you boil it until it releases all the color. You just buy the color you want, boil it and just put the color on your hair. 

Wasabi Fashion Kult Boutique

Wow, okay. That's awesome.

Yeah, I was always attracted to color. Back then it was all about color not fashion you know. But eventually it all turned out to be related to fashion.

Who or what inspired you?

Rebellion, yeah (laughs) that's what pushes me.

Wasabi Fashion Kult Boutique

Wasabi Fashion Kult Boutique

Were you in a conservative community or something?

Yeah, I went to Catholic School in Colombia, and had to wear plaid uniform and all that. I dyed my hair and painted my nails pink which was like woah you know. (laughs)

(laughs) Didn't you get in trouble for that?

My teachers loved me, so not really. I always had fun, I never did it in a negative way, it was always about fun.

Do you do anything outside of fashion?

Besides managing THE KULT and our online magazine Wasabi Fashion Kult, culture comes first. Fashion has always been what happens to be there after everything I do. It's always there, but it's about culture, it’s about people. I'll stop to take a picture of someone not because of fashion but because of a special something that person has. It's always been about people.

Wasabi Fashion Kult Boutique

Have you ever done any street style photography?

Yeah that's how I started, when I came back from Paris.

Woah! When were you in Paris?

I graduated from college in Miami and started right away working as a designer for a small up and coming company; our headquarters were in Wynwood back in 2005. 

There was something that was not working for me at this job, I was attracted to fashion but not by being a designer. Had a really bitter taste of how this industry worked. I quit and looked into going to study or taking a fashion course in Paris.

Wow I never knew that. Is that how it is for everyone?

No, not everyone, but when you're starting out yeah. But there was always something I liked about fashion so I went to Paris.

Did you go to Paris on your own?

There was a program I found, Paris Fashion Institute,
it's a month long, so I went for it. At the end of the seminar, some of us were privileged to get a job or an internship. I was interviewed by Lee Cooper and hired as a fashion graphic designer. I work with them for a year.

Being in Paris was one of my favorite times in my life. I didn't bring my computer or my phone or anything. Even my job was like, 'We need to contact you!," and I was like, "I'll be there at 9am.." I just wanted to explore you know.

Did you make any connections when you were there?

Yeah, there was this woman, Diane Pernet, she dresses all in black, like a black widow. She has a black veil always, and always dresses with cat glasses and red lipstick. I admired how she documented everything on her blog, back then it wasn't common to have one, there were very few online publications and she was one of the interesting and successful ones. and that got me really interested in documenting as well. 

We stayed connected and she asked me to pick her up from the airport one day. That day we were in the taxi and she kept asking me question after question about my life, and we figured out what it is that I wanted to do. It just clicked. I hated fashion but there was always something that attracted me to it. It was the culture, people, photography and color. That's what I like. 

Oh, there's also this French magazine WAD, We are Different, and they're all about underground culture. I love them. I wanted to work for them but it didn't work out. I wasn't use to seeing magazines like that. They really inspired me too.

Then what happened?

I left the job in Paris and decided to start my own magazine in Miami.

Fashion, The Kult, Wasabi Fashion Kult, Wynwood, Miami, Pop Up Boutique, Jewelry

Sort of like WAD?

Exactly. I wanted it to be about culture and not just fashion. I wanted it to be about our underground culture and street fashion. 

And why the name Wasabi Fashion Kult?

I'm very into Japanese culture, so I wanted to have that in the name somehow, so I thought of Wasabi. Then I thought of Kult because I wanted this to be like a group of interesting cultural people. And when I use the word fashion, I mean it like, expressing yourself. Fashion is a way of expressing yourself. And there you go, that's how I came up with the name Wasabi Fashion Kult.

What designers do you carry and how do you pick which ones to show in store?

When working as a designer I went to a lot of trade shows, and I've always worked at trade shows taking street style pictures, so through that I've gotten to know a lot of people and get familiar with what I like. So when I opened this shop I knew who I wanted in the store.

Who are your top designers that you have here?

Iron Fist, Lip Service, Tripp, and Betsey Johnson.

Fashion Blogger Anais Alexandre of Down to Stars with pamela wasabi of wasabi fashion kult
Myself with Pamela and a little wasabi baby on the way!

Thanks again to Pamela from Wasabi Fashion Kult! I had a blast! Can't wait to load up on more Tripp pants at your store :> You know what I'm talking about people.

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