June 13, 2012

Designer Spotlight: Chandra Maharaj

Miami based Designer, Chandra Maharaj
Miami– it is in this southern Florida metropolis that the Kardashian sisters left their mark opening up a second DASH boutique. More recently, it is where Ohio native and 2012 NBA Most Valuable Player, LeBron James has reigned supreme. Housing a slew of other notable people including Lil’ Wayne, Rick Ross and in 2010 Snooki and the rest of the Jersey Shore crew, it is also the city that 29 year old designer, Chandra Maharaj now calls home.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Maharaj books a flight back to Brazil every year to design and produce her collections. On a daily basis she is influenced by her South American roots, an influence that is understandably reflected in her luscious swimsuit designs. On June 16, 2012 Maharaj will be displaying her newest line of swimwear, “ZAMBI” at the Plitz Swimwear Passion for Fashion “Designer Showcase” at the Warwick Hotel in New York City. 

Chandra Maharaj Swimwear
Maharaj describes her “ZAMBI” collection as a “melting pot” of inspirations from Trinidad, Brazil, and Africa. Of course, I will be in the front row of the show to provide you all with a runway review of the new collection, but until then checkout my exclusive interview with Chandra to learn more about the South American beauty and her inner “goddess exposing” designs!
So Sophisticated1992: As a designer, what (or who) inspires you?
Chandra Maharaj: I am very much in love with life, I have always been. Cultures, countries, foods, beliefs, spirituality, nature,legends, tribes, animals, fairytales, people, love, etc. fascinate me. All of these things contribute daily as a source of inspiration to the person that I am, but for my past two collections, I have focused on the intricate beauty found in two countries that I hold very close to my heart [Brazil and Africa].The female warriors of the Amazon in Brazil—their beauty, power and purpose inspired my first collection. Africa, and to be more specific the spiritual connection between nature and the African Gods was my ultimate inspiration for my second collection, “ZAMBI.”

So Sophisticated1992: Your sister is also a designer with her own collection in the works; is it safe to say that the designer's eye is something that runs in your family?
Chandra Maharaj: LOL!!! My real sister, Mila Maharaj, is actually a creative monster! She does everything from web designing, to any type of graphic work, she sews and designs bags and jewelry. However, her main focus is as a make up artist.  The sister I believe you are talking about is a great friend of mine that I have spiritually adopted as my little sister, her name is Anais Samarjian and she is soon to debut her first Anais Alicia Collection! Her pieces are amazing and I am super excited for her launch. But to answer your question, [yes] it is safe to say that a designer’s eye does run in the family, as we are all of creative blood, and in some way or another contribute to Chandra Maharaj Swimwear. I design, my dad makes patterns, my mom cuts and my aunt sews.

Chandra Maharaj Swimwear

So Sophisticated1992: What is your vision for Chandra Maharaj Swimwear?
Chandra Maharaj:  My vision for Chandra Maharaj Swimwear is GRAND. I want my brand to be internationally recognizedloved and sought after. My goal is design for women of different shapes, sizes, colors, and whatever personal preferences they may have. [This] is why, I also offer a custom design service that focuses on the special need of my client.  With time, I would also love to branch out into designing ready to wear as well for my formal wear.

So Sophisticated1992: As a swimsuit designer, what would you say was the ultimate swimsuit moment (i.e. Pamela Anderson onBaywatch, Kate Upton on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition,etc.)?
Chandra Maharaj: :Great Question! I would have to say Pamela Anderson on Baywatch, because now that I think about it, as far as swimwear is concerned—I definitely fantasied about all the ways I could make her one piece better, different cuts, fits, colors, etc. So for me, on a personal level, it was an ultimate swimsuit moment because it fed into my need to design my own swimwear.

Chandra Maharaj Swimwear

So Sophisticated1992: Who in Hollywood would you love to see cast as the Face of Chandra Maharaj Swimwear?
Chandra Maharaj: Obviously I would love to have all celebrities in my pieces. But ideally, when the time comes for that opportunity, I would love to have a fresh face, an up and coming beauty I should say. That way, we can both grow together in our careers!

To stay connected with ChandraMaharaj or to purchase Chandra Maharaj swimwear visit her website, http://www.chandramaharajswimwear.com/and look for her on twitter @ChandraMaharaj.

Also be sure to keep visiting So Sophisticated.1992 for more designerspotlights, giveaways and official coverage of the Plitz Swimwear Passion forFashion Showcase! 

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