When I think about fashion, the first places that come to mind are Tokyo, New York and Paris. These are the staple fashion hubs of the world, but they certainly are not the only ones. Fashion lovers are everywhere, especially here in Atlanta. Quinay Baker, founder and CEO of Q&A Studio, saw the gap in resources of the Southern fashion market and decided to do something about it. She opened Q&A Fabric Studio, right here in Atlanta, GA. Last week, altKEY had the wonderful opportunity to talk to her about her experience in the fashion market, especially when it comes to sustainability.
Victoria: What inspired you to start Q&A Fabric Studio?
Quinay: ‘When I lived in New York, we had a garment district with fabric notions, leather stores, spandex stores... but Atlanta doesn’t have that. You’ve got so many people moving here, and we’re not able to maintain an industry for fashion designers. That’s what I came down here to do”
Victoria: “yeah, especially since I know a lot of people describe Atlanta as like the New York of the South, so you'd like really nailed that in”
Having studied and lived in NYC for years, Quinay worked with multiple designers and fabric stores around the area. Due to this, she saw exactly what the ATL fashion industry was lacking: a creative space for designers to come together and expand their knowledge and resources. She took it upon herself to create such a space, and Q&A Fabric Studio was born. Her studio offers different types of fabrics, tracing patterns and beginner to advanced sewing classes to the Atlanta population. It's no surprise that her interest in fashion was always consistent.
Quinay: “I was always into the arts, I used to sketch and draw all the time. My parents wanted me to go into nursing or something like that, but I just kept falling back into the arts. I just love clothing and drawing, so I applied to FIT and, yeah, it was amazing.”
Like many of us have experienced, choosing a career path can be daunting. For Quinay, it's clear that her love for the arts was something worth pursuing. Despite the pressure she may have had from her parents to pursue a more traditional career choice, she still chose her passion and created something to be proud of. Though her passion for fashion came first, it wasn’t long until she discovered the world of sustainability.
Quinay recalls that she was first exposed to sustainable fashion while visiting a fabric expo in Los Angeles. This expo was in part dedicated to sustainability in the fashion industry. She remembers hearing that the fashion industry is number two in terms of creating waste, which has to change. From there, she began getting more involved in practicing sustainability. As she puts it, “If you have any ambition towards the fashion industry, you have to get into sustainability.”
On the note of sustainability, her favorite brands or designers are,
“Eileen Fisher. She does a lot to maintain ethical and socially conscious practices”.
She also mentions Chanel as a timeless staple. Quinay describes how quintessential of New York this brand is, and that the person behind it is also extremely inspirational.
Before saying goodbye, Quinay left us with some inspiring words for those hoping to enter the fashion business:
“Take your time. It can be tedious and frustrating, but it will work out.”
Quinay mentions how learning the ins-and-outs of sewing or figuring out what aspect of the fashion industry you are drawn to can be challenging, but worth it if you want to make inroads in this industry.
Q&A Fabric Studio is truly pioneering the fashion scene in Atlanta by creating the perfect place for designers and fashion-lovers to find ethically-sourced resources and expand their knowledge of fabrics and sewing. Quinay offers a wide variety of patterns, fabrics, and classes. In fact, hosting lessons is a crucial part of Q&A Fabric Studio. Quinay aims to share the knowledge she has acquired from years in the industry to those who are interested, while fostering a community of passionate and creative individuals. If you are interested in learning more about the studio or want to book a class, follow this link: https://www.qafabricstudio.com/