Interview Series: Aban Sonia

Meet our newest lady love Aban Sonia; a young, edgy fashion powerhouse with soft lips, sharp wits and timeless beauty. You may have caught her making magic happen at Overthrow‘s 2010 Basel Castle, styling a shoot at some fancy club, working with her Artisans Agency or skating around Miami’s Design District, checking out the street artists. Badass.


LF: 5 favorite shoots you styled and why?

AS: #1 is Queen Cobra. This shoot featured a live 15 feet Albino King Cobra – need I say more? Hair, Makeup, and Styling was done by our amazing team of creatives at the Artisans Agency. Mike Raveney did photography and editing. Brilliant shoot and production process overall – and the photos speak volumes.

 Behind the scenes video:

2. Lady Lizard – Very little clothing, but still highly stylized and a very strong story overall. I was able to creatively use a lot of the ethnic jewelry and accessories I had from Pakistan in an unconventional way – which i had TONS of fun doing. Hair, Makeup, & Styling again by Artisans Agency. Photographed by Mike Raveney.

3. Tamara Sky / Playboy – Two reasons: Playboy & Tamara Sky. The product speaks for itself. We shot a two-part video & pictorial story featuring Tamara as a modern-day Miami bond girl. We played with helicopters, alligators, air boats, machine guns, and highly stylized fashions. Hair / Makeup / Wardrobe by Artisans Agency. Photographed by Jared Ryder / Last Rights Inc.

4. Art Basel / The Box / Nikki Beach – We pulled this conceptualized shoot together from idea to post production and print, in less than 3 days. The artwork was featured during THE BOX’s (NYC) private showcase(s) through the week of Art Basel 2009 at Nikki Beach. The Box is one of my favorite venue’s in New York, so when I was presented with the opportunity to produce artwork for them, I literally dove in head first and blood thirsty. Styled by Artisans Agency / Photography Jared Ryder.

 5. NYC Editorial Story – Ally Hilfiger – a dear friend of mine and incredibly talented art director / stylist + designer – and I had the opportunity to collaborate with Peter Rosa (a phenomenal photographer NYC). We curated an amazing story from local showrooms and designers in New York… to find out, night before the shoot that the garments were never delivered. We blamed the full moon and carried on. After our resourceful late night scavenger hunt, we were able to very successfully pull together one of the best shoots of our careers. I created head pieces and accessories from bits of unused fabrics, seashells, and jewelry.. Including this one-of-a-kind-beaded top (pictured below). We knew that if we pulled it together and maintained a positive outlook on the situation, we’d see it through and have a product we both would be proud of. We were absolutely right. Styled by Ally Hilfiger & Aban Sonia (Artisans Agency) Photographed by Peter Rosa

LF: The future is ∞ is the title of your latest project, a street mural in Miami’s Design District. What do you have to say about this concept?

AS: The “Infinite” Project is the love child of a new community-based, inner-city concept known as “M.E.R.G.E MURALS” [MENDING ENVIRONMENT & REVOLUTIONARY GENERATIONS EVERYDAY]. We’re currently working with local and internationally known street & fine artists to create inspirational murals in cities that lack a strong voice for the youth and those who crave a positive change. The project is formed around the idea that our future and the possibilities that follow are indeed, as limitless as our imagination.

LF: What is it about art on walls speaking louder than on a canvas? Who is your latest graffiti artist fave?

AS: To put it simply; it’s larger than life. There are artists out there like BLU, Os Gemeos, Nunca, Remed, Sabio, 3ttman, BAM, Neckface, Hacula, and Alex One, that do pieces that are at times, featured on 60 – 70 story buildings. The dedication that a project of that magnitude takes, not just physically, but mentally as well, is truly astonishing. These guys and girls rival against the elements, the locals, and the text book definition of what “art” is and “should be”, to prove the worth and impact of what they believe in. The community usually welcomes these cultured rebels with open arms, which is reinforcement that what we’re doing is being appreciated out there. Which is the best form of payment any one can receive.

LF:  2 must have accessories to party in Miami

AS: A lightweight, easy to carry bag. Because Miami’s nightlife is fast paced and exciting. You’re guaranteed to find yourself hopping from hotspot to hotspot and the last thing you want when frolicking through a fun-filled night on the town is baggage… of any kind. lol. So leave the city satchel’s at home, girls. Secondly, from experience… an extra phone charger. I absolutely hate being out with a dead phone. Especially when traveling. Having an extra phone charger is a proven life safer. Don’t leave home without it.

LF: How did you get in with the Overthrow guys?

AS: We all met a few years ago through different avenues and for different reasons. Some personal, some strictly business, some like brothers/ sisters… Fast forward, and we’re now one big happy dysfunctional family that’s a force to be reckoned with. We all have our individual skill sets which enables us to operate more like a collective. We compliment each other very well and are constantly creating something new and interesting to raise the industry’s eyebrows and standards.

LF: What was your best party so far?

AS: Best Overthrow production / event to-date would be The Basel Castle event we did at The Overthrow Castle during Art Basel 2010. We partnered up with ABV (ATL), Han Cholo Designs, and PBR to bring Miami the all out end-of-Basel rave it deserved. Theophilus London and Rye Rye were just a few of the top secret performances along with the usual Overthrow suspects: Troy Kurtz, Tamara Sky, Damaged Goods, and Caligula. Ron English did a live mural while partygoers played carnival games designed & produced by ABV’s Greg Mike. The photos really do say it all.

LF: Miami is (?)

AS: Expected to be completely unexpected. There’s always something new and exciting happening here… From the emerging art & cultural scene to the exciting swanky nightlife. There’s always some devious fun to be had.

LF: How do you live FAST?

AS: I like to maintain focus soley on the present and the future. No crying over spilled milk. This outlook keeps me focused on what’s next. Learn from the past, teach the future. Aside from that, just the usual, healthy dosage of sex, drugs, and rock & roll.

LF: What do you wanna be when you grow up (or do you consider yourself there already)?

AS: Essentially, I’m a producer. I conceptualize, plan, and piece creative teams together, follow through with the production and post editing, when needed. I see my projects through from beginning to end. Conception to birth. Which is exactly what I’ve always wanted. I create constantly. Something new, something different. Something that will connect with someone I’ve never met. I really enjoy that challenge. I enjoy the fact that there will always be room to grow within my industry. It’s constantly evolving, and I plan on continuously evolving with it.

LF: What are you listening to right now?

AS: I’m usually listening to music my insanely talented friends produce. I’m currently obsessed with Ethiopian Jazz a dear friend introduced me to.. drum & bass, dubstep, ambient, and experimental noise. I really enjoy listening to odd sounds and well-composed melodies. Lyrics are optional. Current favorites, Caligula, Troy Kurtz, Tamara Sky, Nero, Gaslamp Killer & Gonjasufi, Otto Von Shirach, Trouble&Bass, Hot Pink Delorean, Smut & Bass. As far as the usual suspects that you’ll find in any of my playlists.. Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Trentemoller, Dolly Parton, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Spectrum, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Proxy, Deftones, Nancy Sinatra, Zeppelin, 16 Bit, Zed’s Dead, Portishead, Cannibal Corpse, The XX, Crystal Castles, Slayer, Nosia, Rammstein, and Radiohead.

LF: Favorite lingerie brand.

AS: Agent Provocateur… hands down. Not only does it stem from Westwood blood (Joe [founder] being Vivianne Westwood’s son) – but he’s an insanely creative madman himself. Any man with the erotic passion to want to see a woman in half the things he creates… Bless his cotton socks.

LF: Do you believe in love?

AS: Yep. A beautiful friend recently told me… “Where there’s love there’s light.” And she’s absolutely right. I try to find love in everything I do… and everyone I encounter. If you’re asking about the romance novel sweep me off of my feet jazz, well… we’ll see…

LF: What is your 2011 Resolution?

AS: I should probably take my mother’s advice more often.

Fashion talk: what’s your style? Favorite fashion trends right now.

Large Ethnic Scarves. With winter here, we all need solutions on bundling up and being fashionable. A bold, bright, scarf quickly and easily perks up any look.  Henrik Vibskov is a prime example of doing bold patterns and ethnic prints in a way that’s very wearable.

Genie Pants. I’m a bit partial to designers, as my mother and I make these fantastical harem pants. They’re the most comfortable thing you can ever bless your bottom half with.. not to mention beautifully crafted and colorful. Pair them with stilettos or flats and they work both ways. Great way to soften up a grunge tee or a snazz-up simple tank top. These eccentric pantaloons really set you aside from the norm and make a bold statement every time.. and why wouldn’t they? After all, the cuts are pure brilliance and the colors are just as inspiring!

Biker Boots. Easy, wearable, and workable. They work well with everything from day dresses, grunge jeans, shorts, skirts, you name it. If you’re wanting to add an instant edge and flair of “I don’t care” to any look – opt for a pair of these bad boys instead of your usual stilettos and bring the inner badass out to play.

Heavy Ethnic Jewelry. I blame my Pakistani roots for this obsession. I love heavy, bold, eccentric, jewelry. Hand-made.. and I’m sold.

Kerin Rose – A Morir Glasses. Kerin is one of the most talented natural born killers, I know. She’s brilliant in what she does. Creating and recreating pure magick. She designs custom made sunglasses for anyone daring to be dangerously different. And I dig that. I love going to her studio in NYC to pull for shoots and clients. It always feels like a wonderland of whimsical awesomeness.. and I get lost in it every time. Thanks to her, sunglasses are not only a necessity, but an iconic staple piece that you won’t want to live without. Don’t take it from me, ask her near and dear clients Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Estelle, and Katy Perry what they think of her awe-inspiring creations.

Black Lace. Classic… and dangerously sexy. Nary Manivong featured the perfect full lace dresses & blouses in his past F/W collection. Soft and sultry, yet strong and structured. I think the silhouettes and fabric choice really epitomized today’s woman. Strong, sensual, passionate, stylish, and not to be fucked with.

LF: Art talk: what inspires you? Favorite artist or piece of art

AS: A bit of everything, really. Currently, I’m obsessing over large scale muralists, sculptors, and mixed media. A few favorites are Brian Buzzella, Reinier Gamboa, Kiki Valdes, Nicole Soden, JeanPaul Mallozzi, David Tamargo, Johnny Robles, Sabio, Stian Roenning, Neckface, Curtis Kulig, Os Gemeos, Gustav Klimt, and Harif Guzman “HACULA.”

LF: Sex talk: what gets you off? Literally or figuratively.

AS: Intense eye contact. Passion. Equal parts melody & mayhem.

LF: Travel talk: favorite destination(s) or stories you want to share

AS: I recently went on an adventure to Puerto Rico with a very close friend… we wandered around San Paolo aimlessly ’til we stumbled onto a legit drug den. If you’re nifty on Google… research La Perla (not the lingerie) and draw your own conclusions. Needless to say, we made it out alive. But barely thanks to my short shorts and mid-drift top.

Before you ask… Yes. I’d do all over again in a heart beat.

Special kudos & love to photographer Shayna Batya (Artisans Agency) and stylist Luiza Solano who provided us with Aban Sonia’s portraits.

L’Agent Goodies…