Inside Frame Vol. 7

Artist, designer, and light keeper on a path to awaken minds, Ayesha Alyassi speaks about her brainchild Lahjtna and the purpose of self-expression in her life.

What is Lahjtna and how was it born?

Lahjtna translates into “dialect” in Arabic. I wouldn’t say it’s Emirati dialect, but this word is really common in the Middle East. Lahjtna started as a university project. From the very beginning, I’ve envisioned Lahjtna as a brand that inspires people and encourages them to question, think, and create.

How do you apply this vision in practice?

As an artist, I’ve always felt like one of my reasons to create is to speak to people through my work, and my brand is that platform of expression and my t-shirts are my main canvas. It’s my mission to open people’s minds, inspire them to break away from the stereotypes, and set them free from their mental prison. Practically, my T-shirts are wearable canvases with the real meaning behind each design. My work is something that initiates the conversations that must happen, but only few have the courage to question it. People don’t have to agree with every statement that is put out there, but as long as it’s been seen and discussed, I’ve hit my target.

Do you face any challenges in delivering your message to your audience?

Some of the topics are complex and sometimes too sensitive to talk about. The misconception is one of the main enemies of Lahjtna. I always have a positive intention behind the messages which I’m trying to spread, but I’ve learned that I need to deliver them gradually with the consideration of the feelings of the audience.

Our first collaboration with Lahjtna was during Fashion Forward, when we partnered with Lahjtna and 3 other regional brands, Anthlgy, Shabab, and 2D2C2M, under a fun and meaningful concept FRAME & Friends. Let’s reminisce a little. Can you tell our readers about the concept of the design?

My tee for FRAME & Friends was called “A Trip to Mars”. I designed it during my internship in Italy. Back then, I’ve spent a lot of time alone and realized that after you travel, you don’t come back as the same person. I was at the stage of discovering something new, so the design of the T-shirt was highly inspired by that feeling.

If Lahjtna was creature what it would be?

It would be a shapeless red light, a spirit that has a voice and power to bring enlightenment to its believers.

Why red is so important for you?

I think it’s attractively bold and full of energy, passion, and love.

Future plans for Lahjtna?

In the long-run, prosper toward ascension and in the short-run, we just dropped a new collection and it’s called: “Paintings Reimagined”. It is fully dedicated to the celebration of “Escapism” through the reimagination of Renaissance art with a Middle Eastern aesthetic. Y’all should check this out.

Photography by: Mohammad Mhaisen (IG: @mmhaisen)

Do you think women feel welcomed in the streetwear culture?

Probably, but I don’t care. Lahjtna is not the first streetwear brand to be created by a woman. We as women have all the power to create a space for ourselves and if there’s a movement going on, I’m merely a fragment of it, not a front liner.

What inspires you at the moment?

I think I have a lot of rage in me these days. It’s caused by the injustice created by the corrupted minds with false ideas that are driving a big part of society into a dark place. I’m driven by the creative force to strive for a better tomorrow, rather than create meaningless art.

Top favorite brands from FRAME?

I really love the t-shirts. My favorite brands from FRAME are Fucking Awesome, Pleasures, Polar and Iggy.