AIRICH A.K.A. FANA RICHTERS: “I FEEL MUCH COMFORTABLE IN EXPRESSING MYSELF IN THE VISUAL WORLD THAN THE VERBAL WORLD”

Over the last 4 years she has been working as an artist, stylist and allround creative. My first future plans was to become a filmmaker, but after finishing school, she discovered the beauty of photography and fine arts and decided to develop her own view and style to tell her own stories. She would describe her style as a melting pot of elements.

“My younger brother told me once: Your visual work is filled with subjects and information that you fail to tell in words. And he was right, because I feel much comfortable in expressing myself in the visual world than the verbal world. That’s is just my way of communicating.”

 

What do you find inspiring in fashion, art and design?

“I’m fascinated by the facility of art and therefore also fashion and design. To me art and (fashion) design is a non-verbal language. I enjoy the fact that there can be 20 different artist (fashion) designers in one room, and they all create something unique reflecting their own being and communicating their own language.”

 

Can you tell us three designers that you find inspiring? And why?

“My current favorites are: BOTTER,  RECONSTRUCT and Iris van Herpen. To me, all of these designers take fashion design to another level. I really like their artistic view.”

 

What do you find lacking about the fashion, art and design Industry?

“In this day of age it’s still frustrating to see the lack of diversity and especially people of color in the art, fashion and design industry and their perspectives on (to name an example) ‘Beauty standards’ projected by the Euro-centric world. This one ruling globalized western point of view is causing a crippling self-esteem in many youngsters – and many girls who look up to this industry. It’s important that these people can have a reference or an idol, who looks like them and that they can relate to, without destroying their own natural values. I’m also against the exploitation of many cultures within these industries.”

 

Name three countries you think were most special to travel to and why?

“Well, my travel list isn’t that long yet. Suriname, because it’s my homeland and that was my first experience in another country. France, because I worked there for 3 months and really felt the transformation from girl to a woman. And Turkey, that was a couple weeks ago after 5 years of working holiday or vacations.”

 

The fashion fest is about creating awareness. What does awareness means to you?

“Being conscious and aware of every move you make.”

 

With this blog we want to create awareness around topics like gender, identity and diversity. Do you take

these topics in account in your work, if so can you tell us how?

“Yes, the focus in my work is mostly based on the identity en diversity of the black race. Being aware of your roots and your identity is very important to me. So I think that we have to express these subjects through our art to put the stamps on it, because We are here, We matter and We’re important.”

 

Digital technology and globalization ensure that the creative sector is subject to strong changes. What do you think these changes will look like?

“I’m personally not much involved in the whole digital world as most modern people around me; I’ve also been known as ‘Analog girl in a digital world/ alien girl’. The bright side of it is probably the audience and network that easier to reach online for the creative’s and the rise of many great creative’s who will use digital technology in their advantage. The dark side is more plagiarism, less credit to the artist and the despairing of many great artists, who just want to create art and who don’t want to deal with the digital world.”

 

In what ways do your personal values shape your work/business?

“I even named a planet after these value’s: Planet AiRich. You see, Planet is a space I’ve created to totally express myself within my own values principles and things of interest. I’ve always felt alienated in the modern day society, so I’ve created a space were I can be myself and always stay true to the rules of planet AiRich, whether its in my photography, costumes/styling and production.”

 

How would you describe your relationship with style and clothing?

“I’ve always been fascinated with the beauty of different clothing styles, whether it’s traditional, modern or futuristic. Yes, I’m a total crossover. I grew up with many looks in search for the style that would fit and reflect me the most. Nowadays I’m so comfortable in my own looks that it’s mostly based on my moods. Sometimes I start my morning filled with enthusiasm while listening to one of Fela Kuti’s tracks and this inspires me to put on a very colorful or a cultural outfit. A day with Thundercat and Erykah Badu on will definitely turn me into that alternative girl. And another day I might listen to IamDDB or Princess Nokia and prefer the tomboy look over everything. I always find a way to combine different clothing items together to match the right mood.”

 

How has your attitude towards fashion, art and design changed as you’ve aged? How so?

“In time I’ve grown to be more conscious about my fashion choices. While developing my own style, I’ve redefined my taste in brands and started to be more aware of the brands that had a message or a background that matches with my lifestyle.”

 

Tell us about your journey from where you were born to where you life now. Looking back on this journey, do any significant lessons stand out?

“I was born and currently still living in Amsterdam South-East. I‘m the oldest of 7 and grew up in an environment that’s ideal for a young artist his/her development to be raised in. My parents (both artists), especially my mom made us practice/study different techniques such as batik, ceramics, drawing, painting etc. I was always surrounded by art, colors, design and love. These influences have mostly shaped me into the person I am today and I’m very thankful for that.”

 

What does your work mean to you?

“My work is really a reflection of myself. When I look back at my pieces, it feels like I’m looking in a mirror. It’s that big piece of me that was failed to put in words and expressed itself in the visual language.”

 

What tends to keep you up at night?

“When I get the chance, I’m mostly awake at night working on stuff that needs to be finished. I’m that girl that whose brains are sharper at night, finishing stuff or studying, while listening to music. So I would say; I keep myself up at night.”

 

Who / what do you look to for style cues and why?

“I really like Erykah Badu’s freedom of taste in all her forms, especially her taste for fashion and music. However, I find inspiration in all kind of things for my outfits. Sometime I just need to see to different colored books together to reminds me of the red and yellow pieces in my closet that would make a good match look.”

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