Cult Gaia is a brand started by Jasmine Larian in 2011. Originally, the brand started off with selling flower crowns. After that came small, sculptured purses, then came her uniquely designed high heels, and in 2021 she has already expanded into ready-to-wear.
The brand started blowing up when the Ark bag started trending in 2016, even though it had been designed in 2014. Influencers and fashion magazines started featuring it and the brand gained traction. From there, Jasmine continued to build on that success.
Jasmine admits Instagram played a massive role in the brand’s success. It showed people who were afraid to wear it how it can be styled in different ways. Look at herd mentality to help uplift a brand.
Starting a fashion line was Jasmine’s plan all along, and it seems it was inevitable too. Her mother was a designer, and her father the creator of the Bratz dolls.
Jasmine attributed the brand’s DNA, which is making pieces that stand out – to the fact that she also owns items that are distinctive. She wants people that wear her brand to be stooped on the street by others, that is the reaction she has in mind when creating a piece.
For the ready-to-wear pieces, her aesthetic is late 60s graphic prints, ruched bolero shapes and button-front shift dresses. The brand has already collaborated with enormous companies, such as online retailer Net-a-Porter, which has helped take their brand to the rest of the world, at a much faster rate.
These achievements by Jasmine have landed her in 2018’s Forbes “30 Under 30” in the Art & Style category. However, her journey started in New York, at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Where she studied fashion and design and interned at Jason Wu at the same time.
If you are wondering how she gets ideas when creating unique pieces for Cult Gaia, when designing pieces, Jasmine is inspired by her family, friends and travel destinations she has been to, particularly by nature. One concern Jasmine had about the bag that took off her business is that people would complain about the asymmetry, which results from the fact that she worked with natural materials, which cannot be controlled to behave the same way every time. Resulting in each bag, looking slightly different from the rest.
But the physical components and Instagram are not the only factors that have made Jasmine’s business a success. Cult Gaia is still growing because as an entrepreneur, she says you need to have grit, perseverance, and the quality of being willing to collaborate with others.
Cult Gaia reflects Jasmine and her style, as the brand grows, so does her own personal style and aesthetic. A testament to the fact that she is putting out products that she believes in herself. This started when she would wear shoes created by herself, and she would make clothes, so she would not have to match her shoes with another brand.
The brand is relatively new in the clothing space, but their clothes have already gained supporters, especially in Los Angeles. Celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen have worn her pieces, which have also helped put her on the list of high-profile names.
And if you want to have a career in fashion, outside of being a designer, she says, “Start small, put one foot in front of the other, and intern as much as you can. Make yourself indispensable in whatever you do.”