Design your own Badass Sweatshirt with Aphia Collective

Dazzled by a rainbow of cut-outs, wild prints, shoelace ties, and punk rock rivets I could hardly choose which photos best captured the style of these unique sweatshirts. Deciding which one to own would prove even more difficult. Between the delicious headache of choice and my own enviable garment hung a sad little price-tag of twenty-five mil, with it a reminder of my current unemployment. But there's no mistaking my last purchase before I leave Santiago: a badass Aphia sweatshirt to make my friends back home drool.

Photo by Aphia Design
Photo by Aphia Design

"Aphia" in Spanish literally means jellyfish, as it is these gooey and gelatinous sea creatures that provide inspiration for the jackets, with salient features which correlate with major design aspects: the sweatshirts are soft and unusual, they feature bold lines and dots of color, they have a dreamy palette. They seem to make you glow from the inside.

The project began when designers Natalia González and Andrea de la Horra partnered up with a mutual desire to blend the ideas they loved into one project: "That's how we started Aphia," laughs Natalia, "mixing branches of graphic design in the locker room."

Photo by Aphia Design
Photo by Aphia Design

Their creativity arises in "... the exquisite process of translating ideas into objects, ideas that drive [us] crazy!". Aphia provides space to work out their "phases" and moods. Witness these moods reflected in details on a jacket: an unusual color combination, a secret pocket, or gorgeous images of natural settings.

Now post-university, they work from home, but offer to meet with clients in central locations. They also visit the client's home for fittings. Prices vary according to which model you select, between $Ch25.000-$Ch30.000. Not cheap, but worthwhile for a practical and unique item.

Photo by Aphia Design
Photo by Aphia Design

When asked to describe the local fashion scene, the designers say that "in Chile, there are always two camps, evenly split: the consumers who like to buy things at the mall, where everyone shops, and those who like to own more exclusive (and expensive) custom items made by independents." The difference between their sweatshirts and those you can pick up at, say, your regular mall, is that these are hand-crafted and ultra-personal: you pick the features, colors and cut; it's your sweatshirt and nobody else's.

Working with bold colors and symmetry, they equate design with entertainment. It's a game, figuring out how to flatter a figure. Their philosophy is to make you feel comfortable, be confident, and own something exclusively yours. To choose what you want to say about yourself.

Photo by Aphia Design
Photo by Aphia Design

Interested in your own amazing, custom-designed hoodie? Contact them online: aphia.design@gmail.com, the Aphia Design Facebook page, or their FLICKR. They will coordinate a meeting with you to determine the details of your sweatshirt. If you live outside of Santiago, do not despair! They also mail domestically and internationally.

As for me, I'll stick around here and save on the postage. Wait tables, sell muffins at the metro and dream of my own design. I'm thinking star-patched and water-proof, the rains are coming.

Aphia Collective
aphia.design@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/AphiaDesign
www.flickr.com/photos/aphiadesign

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