The inspiration of Bien Abyé comes from Dayanne Danier's Creole roots. Learn more about her cultural homage.
Every new collection starts with an inspiration. For most designers, it can be anything: a piece of art, a destination, an era of time, etc. For me, it’s always an element of Haiti. My inspirations first started with an architecture style found in Haiti called Gingerbread houses or as we say in Creole “kay anbwa”. Houses made out of wood; elaborate decorative patterns in vibrant Caribbean colors. It was my love for pattern drafting and details that drew me to these ornate structures that were tucked away behind 8-foot walls and are a special character in the Haitian society.
As years flew by and new collections were developed, the need for new inspirations also presented itself. Exploring further into Haitian culture and heritage was an adventure of exploring myself because I got to learn more about my own personal history.
RUM & SPRICE
For the latest collections, my inspirations came from two places. I’ll start with sharing one, sugar cane and rum production. I am a lover of the cognac and when I thought of fall/winter my spirit gravitated to one of Haiti’s oldest harvest crops.
Rum has been exported from Haiti for generations. Since before the island’s independence in 1804, the country has had numerous rum distilleries with the first sugar mills dating back to 1516. During one of my many travels to the Perle, I stopped at a private beach property in the south where the owner made his own rum flavors and for a mere $5.00 one could taste an array of flavors.
Headbands have become an iconic accessory. We refer to them as the "Head Crowns" in our collection. Everyone should feel fabulous enough to embrace their mane and headbands do that while complimenting every look imaginable.
It is easy to come across a sugar field getting ready for processing sugar cane when leaving Port Au Prince and heading to the outer provinces. That’s why when I saw the fabric of this headband, right away I thought of piles of dried sugar cane.
Every collection needs to have a pop color for the season and the amber color of rum is where the name of this headband was inspired. Raw silk natural fibers like the rawness of sugar cane makes this a direct reflection to harvest time.
Does a designer have favorites? That is hard to answer, but new techniques are always fun to try with our artisans and the need to exemplify raw sugar cane grains drizzled on the crown is what I envisioned for our first beaded headband.
I can’t leave out the scarves in this collection. They are must haves and the stories behind their inspiration are very captivating.
At night with fireflies, lost in the sugar leaves, looking up at the fairy dust, so many Haitian tales (krik krak) are told in these fields. Capturing that special place in the Perle is a must.
Such a precious cognac needs to be stored the best ways. The longer the aging, the higher the stars. An abstract image replicating rum barrels had to be included to make this collection complete.
Such a unique vignette of styles. Sophisticated and timeless, like the aging of rum and spice.