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Ashaka Givens S/S 2016: “Queen of the Desert”

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Ashaki Ward

Fashion, bridal and costume designer Ashaka Givens just released her Spring/Summer 2016 collection appropriately titled “Queen of the Desert” and I couldn’t be prouder. Photographed in California’s Joshua Tree National Park by the uber-talented Nickole Fields, the pieces in Ashaka’s new line are brilliant, majestic and attention-grabbing, just like the women who will wear them. With a client roster that reads like the “who’s who” in entertainment, Ashaka has been working her design prowess for a while and is definitely one to watch as she puts a fresh spin on the African-inspired looks we’ve seen growing in popularity over the years:

“As a bi-coastal designer, this is my first shoot outside of New York City so I wanted to take advantage of the new environment. The desert represents sparse vegetation and whatever grows out of it has to be resilient and strong. So in that sense, the desert is a metaphor for the women I create my pieces for and the climate of what’s going on in society today. As Black women, we really have to be the queen of our domains, always wearing our crown and armor, ready for what the world tosses our way,” said designer, Ashaka Givens. “In terms of the actual designs, I always want women to feel empowered. The compliments we receive when we look and feel good can be a much needed boost. I want every woman wearing my work to feel like the Goddess they are. I’ve always been a huge fan of prints, so the fabrics from this collection and a print-lovers dream, straight from West Africa.”

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Kristyn LeGrande

During a casual conversation in a girlfriend’s backyard, Ashaka met and immediately connected creatively with Nickole Fields, the woman who helped her bring this beautiful vision to life:

“I’ve dreamed of being a photographer since I was a little girl and just recently decided to actually do something about it. I began shooting as much as I could, wherever I could,” said “Queen of the Desert” photographer, Nickole Fields. “From meeting Ashaka to going into the desert to capture these images, the entire project came together in less than a week. We spent the entire day in this national park and covered over 50 miles as we set up and shot in different locations throughout the property. It was our very first production together and it was like we’d been working together for years. My sister, Lizz Fields, was on set working with us as well as my three daughters. Haley, my middle daughter, aspires to be a model and we used her in this shoot as well. It was empowering, as well as inspiring for me to work on this project and show my daughters first hand that they can live out their dreams. It was definitely a family affair. I’m so proud of the final product. For me, it’s truly a testament to what can be created when you honor your heart’s desires and follow your passion.”

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Haley Ragland

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Kristyn LeGrande

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Haley Ragland

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Ashaki Ward

To purchase your very own piece of the Ashaka Givens “Queen of the Desert” collection click here and follow the designer on social media (@ashakagivens) today. The collection can also be found on Etsy and will be coming to New York City and Los Angeles boutiques near you soon! If you’d like to see more of Nickole’s incredible photography, visit and follow @nickydifi on IG.

Models: Haley Ragland, Singer/Songwriter Ashaki Ward & Kristyn LeGrande

Styling: Lizz Fields

Congrats to everyone involved in the creation of this undeniable #blackgirlmagic!



As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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