I don’t come from the fashion world, but my mother, Sunny Crawford von Bülow, and grandmother, Annie Laurie Aitken, had innate style. They valued beautiful craftsmanship, knew what looked good on them, and understood that you can be comfortable and still look fabulous. These early lessons trained my eye and helped inspire my line. I wanted clothes that were effortless, yet elegant and versatile: you should be able to wear a garment to the beach, make it fancier if you go out, then add another layer to make it even dressier for a special occasion.
I had been working with the designer Antonio Gual for years, creating such pieces for myself, when in 2015 he suggested applying my original nature- and travel-inspired artworks onto them. From there, Ala Von Auersperg — the brand — was born, with my daughter Sunny Kneissl joining the team as our in-house stylist. Since day one, we have focused on making women feel wonderful in the feminine flow of the fabric, the transparency that reveals but also partially conceals the body and the soft touch of textiles on the skin.
Meanwhile, the prints are an organic extension of my life and my work as an artist, a path I began a decade ago. I have always loved art, but — despite having a great-grandfather and a grandmother who were both gifted sculptors — I didn’t think I could create it. A drawing class changed this. I began painting the flowers in my garden, the coral at our home in Antigua and flora from my travels, and I just loved it. It takes me out of the everyday and then, when I see the prints on a women, it’s another reward. When she moves, so does the print and she becomes the work of art. That’s why we say: Wear AvA and become your own masterpiece.