Good morning! I've been quietly working behind the scenes to continue bringing you fresh content and I'm excited to share it with you! I hope that you're ready for what I have in store!

Today's feature, Skylar Marshai, is a young designer who hails from Atlanta, GA and it seems that she is a force to be reckoned with. I stumbled across her Instagram page some time last year and I've admired her level of creativity as well as her desire to follow her dreams ever since. Skylar fuses traditional wear with more modern pieces, creating memorable looks that can be classified as timeless. It makes perfect sense that her brand Ralyks follows suit.

 Due to my curiosity being peaked, I decided to reach out to Skylar to learn more about her and Ralyks. Upon having the chance to correspond with her, it became more apparent that Skylar's level of commitment to herself as well as her brand would prove to be inspirational. 

Luckily, I was able to ask her a few questions concerning her interest in design and creating a brand that reflects who she is.

Nai’s Visions: Thank you for allowing Nai’s Visions to feature you! Before we begin, can you tell the readers a little about yourself?

Skylar Marshai: Thank you for featuring me! Okay, so to start my name is Skylar Kearney. However, my designer name is Skylar Marshai of course. I am 18 years old and I have been designing and sewing since I was young. I am self taught in both, so you could say it's been a long journey! Apart from my first love being fashion, I love anything else that allows me to gain perspective or be creative. For example, poetry, writing, listening to music, reading, visiting art galleries, exploring, anything that allows me to push past my boundaries creatively speaking! Just for fun, I am a Twilight saga, born in Atlanta but my heart has always belonged to New York and I will be attending my dream school, Parsons: The New School for Design, in the Fall.

Nai’s Visions: How did your interest in designing develop? 

SK: My interest began when I was 13. I started dabbling around with fabrics, denim, and creating pieces simply because I wanted to. It took me until 15 to really begin pursuing design because I recognized my talent for it. I have always been one to try everything before I choose what's best for me. The biggest example of that would be food, but I digress. When it came to design, I realized  how well of an outlet it was when it came to expressing myself. Fashion in itself is a language; it always has been to me. Therefore, when I tapped into design and realized I could create and share my own version of that language, I fell in love. 

Nai’s Visions: Not only are you a designer but you are also the owner of the brand Ralyks. At what point did you realize that you wanted to create your own brand?

SK: Creating my own brand came to mind around the same time tapping into design did, so it all happened fairly fast. The day I created my first pair of custom shorts, I got an offer from someone to make them their own pair. It was surreal, because at that age my only income was coming from allowance. However, I have always been the type to take advantage of a way to be independent if the opportunity presented itself, and with my business, it did. Ralyks did not start as Ralyks. We went through a period of growth, as all clothing lines do. I started without a name at all, then it became something along the lines of "Kustom Klothing" (which I am not too proud to admit), and then finally Ralyks was born, by mere chance.

Nai’s Visions: A few weeks ago, you mentioned on Instagram that you were in the process of “refreshing Ralyks”. What inspired the direction that your brand is currently headed in and did this
change of pace prove to be difficult?

SK: I love this question, thank you for asking for it! I've been dying to share why I decided to take Ralyks in this direction, so here goes...I believe it started when I allowed myself to find myself as a designer. Before, I was always so determined to not define myself because I didn't want a label on myself or my work. However, as a designer, you have to understand that defining yourself is the only way to allow yourself a steady path of growth. Every designer/designer brand I am a fan of, whether it be Roberto Cavalli, Chanel, Alexander Wang or a new favorite of mine, Yiqing Yan (thanks Natalia), has one thing in common: a certain style. The beautiful thing about design is you're able to create from your own perspective, which means no designer is like the other. Therefore, when it came to me growing as one, I had to be real with myself and tap into what made me unique. The "Rebirth of Ralyks" came into play in the aftermath of me doing so because my brand's growth has always been a reflection of my growth. I wanted to begin to create (because I hadn't done so before) clothes for the woman or girl that is able and willing to embrace her ambition. I wanted to make "beauty" redefined in a way that plays off the natural instinct of a woman to embrace her strengths when put in the right position. I wanted Ralyks to be more of a feeling, than a look; so much to the point where it allows my customers to feel limitless and independently creative. In that definition is who I am, how I press myself personally to be through fashion. With this refresh of Ralyks, I wanted to begin to create clothes that can make the strength and ingenuity I push myself to possess attainable for others. Thus came the slogan, "Bold Sophistication, Effortless Style".

Nai’s Visions: I feel as if you’ve captured the true essence of Spring with Ralyks’ latest collection. What has been your favorite part of releasing this collection?

SK: Hands down, my favorite part of releasing this collection has been the feedback from it. I have had the best kind of support system from Ralyks' beginning, so they have witnessed the growth first hand. This collection was such a big step for me as a designer and for my brand, and my Ralyks family saw that as well. It is one thing to see your own growth, but when others acknowledge it and praise it, it is truly a blessing. This collection captured the step I wanted to take in its entirety, and I can honestly say I am so proud of the direction Ralyks is going in.!LOLA%20Dress/zoom/c7hq/image_bd2!Nude%20Plunge%20Dress/zoom/c7hq/image_1372!Stone%20Blue%20V-Neck%20Jumpsuit/zoom/c7hq/image_y8

(See entire collection here)

Nai’s Visions: Jumping the gun a bit, where do you picture yourself as a designer and owner of Ralyks in 5 years?

SK: I love jumping guns, no problem! In 5 years, I would love to be at a point of constant progress. As I mentioned, we just started in this direction, so continuing forward and reaching a point of consistency in my brand's style and look to the point where I am being recognized positively for it is is the goal. As a designer, I hope to be successful in that my brand and my name is well known in an overwhelming amount of places and that Rihanna has one of my pieces (a girl can dream, of course). One of my biggest plans in 5 years is to really have my roots set. I plan to branch out and find an official Ralyks team as well as attain a customer/fan base that reaches beyond what I ever thought.

Nai’s Vision: Last but not least, what are some tips that you would share with budding designers?

SK: Amazing questions! Okay, my biggest piece of advice would have to be to not give up. Do not give up. I cannot stress it enough. The fashion world is one that constantly begs to be fed, and keeping up with trends, getting your name out there and being a successful designer all at once can be overwhelming. However, it is not impossible and it all has to get done. Learn to multitask because so many things coming into play when applying yourself to this field. Stay humble because too many designers I know or have met have lost their sense of humility because of their success and the end result is not always so pretty. 
 Lastly, do it because you genuinely love it. When you create, you cannot do it with the mindset of making money or any other false purpose. It will not go far because it will not be genuine. The fashion industry is one of the rawest ones out there, primarily because it was built on the form of expression. If you genuinely love design and you have a talent for it, embrace that feeling as well as that talent and express yourself wholeheartedly. Your efforts will not be in vain.

Although Skylar Marshai considers herself to be in a position where she is still evolving as a designer, it is clear that she understands the importance of remaining genuine. I always feel that one's best work is produced when they tap into their inner self, excluding outside noise. To witness a young designer with such prominent talent, vision and drive is truly an amazing thing which is why I decided to share her brand with you. My hope is that you are able to draw inspiration from today's feature to continue pursuing your dreams while making sure to give yourself room to grow.

If you are interested in keeping up with Skylar Marshai then please be sure to visit her brand's site, Ralyks, and social media handles!

Social Media
Instagram: @ralyksdesigns
Twitter: @SkylarMarshai