Alexandra Chen

Founder

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29

CRUSH by Alexandra Chen

+Name and location

My name is Alexandra, I'm from Panamá (country), Panamá City. Just got my degree as Industrial Engineer, and I have never studied design or anything related to. Since I was a child, I always liked to create handcrafts.

+Brand name

CRUSH by Alexandra Chen is a brand name I created a couple years ago. The cover photo is my actual logo, but I'm thinking on changing the brand name.

+About and slogan

Here's my story:

I was finishing highschool, my parents always gave the essentials, food, rooftop, private school, everything, but never for my whims. Just ended my first entrepreneurial project (Junior Achievement Panamá), later on I decided to create my own fashion accessries for women. I started selling a lot, but back then I never thought I would decide this project to be for the long term. If I knew then, I would never named my company CRUSH. My old slogan here in Panamá was: "Creaciones que te enamoran" (creactions to have a crush on.)

This is what I started with...

I start creating and handcrafting a lot of accesories, and three years ago I design my first clothing and swimwear line. The thing is that I LOVE the beach, but I hated when people got the same clothing as me. So I had a lot of friends studying in the USA, I ask for oen of them to buy me some cool bikinis and then bring them to Panama. Until one day I update my BBM photo and a friend from here in Panamá wrote me " OH, I have the same bikini"... I was like: you are f*cking kidding me... So this is CRUSH nowadays:

My purpose is to promote Panamanian culture, art work, fabrics, prints, etc, with my designs for everybody anywhere. I'm currently designing, marketing, and selling through social networks and my personal office. Also presenting some pitches to raise capital.

I also want my brand to be more than clothing, I want to become a public speaker, coach, and writter with my blog. So I thing using my name as my personal and profesional brand would be great. See, I was born here in Panamá, my parents are chinese, my name comes from greece, my last name is chinese, I don't look like tradicional chinese here in Panamá, so I think "Alexandra Chen" can conceptualize: mix of culture. I already bought www.alexandrachen.com domain, just in case my brand name sticks. What do you think?

This is how I sell my bathing suits: with an ecobag for you to reuse it and a plastic bag for everything you want to put inside:

This is me with my first brainstorming mural I made right after I watched the first class video. You can also find CRUSH on facebook www.facebook.com/CRUSHalexandraChen or instagram @crushbyac. We ship worldwide :)

UPDATE

My latest design: a clutch bag. Inspired by the Panamanian native culture.The background fabric is a print called "Sabureti" here in Panamá, a print worn by the indigeneuos people "Kunas". The flowers are made from "mola".

According to Wikipedia:

"The mola forms part of the traditional costume of a Kuna woman, two mola panels being incorporated as front and back panels in a blouse. The full costume traditionally includes a patterned wrapped skirt (saburet), a red and yellow headscarf (musue), arm and leg beads (wini), a gold nose ring (olasu) and earrings in addition to the mola blouse (dulemor).

In Dulegaya, the Kuna's native language, "mola" means "shirt" or "clothing". The mola originated with the tradition of Kuna women painting their bodies with geometrical designs, using available natural colours; in later years these same designs were woven in cotton, and later still, sewn using cloth bought from the European settlers of Panamá."

Some cool recycled,  redesigned, dyed shorts with " mola accent.  Like or not?

+Logo

Actual logo:

UPDATE 30/08

Last weekend, I asked for a friend to think for a icon for my brand. I told him I liked stars... This is what he came up with yesterday: "Look, try to picture it more stylized"

I never thought he was actually going to think about it. What do you think? Any ideas, help, feedback? Every comment is very appreciated. :)

UPDATE 31/07

Today, my brother just gave me the idea to use the swirl of my actual logo as an icon. After consulting with one of my friend, this is what I came up with to conceptualize it.

-The swirl seems to be a "C". "C" for "CRUSH", for my last name: Chen.

-The swirl by itself represents all the come and go life gives you.

-The center point for design thinking: idea or resources we turn into many products or ends: the other 7 circles (simbolizing abundance). What do you think?

UPDATE 22/08

This is my first sketch of the little "island" store I would like to build inside the malls.

 

Two American friends of a friend visiting Panama and wearing CRUSH designs.

Two styles in one bikini:

Our very first "mola" trikini

Headbands

Redesigned shoes 

A great outfit:

Our first crossbody bag:

A whole collection inspired by Panama's "kuna or guna" native culture and color

Happy customers:

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