Daniella Samper was one of those precocious third-graders who knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up—a fashion designer—and ended up being 100% right. But even after graduating with dual degrees in design and product management from FIT, it was an eight-month stint in Northern India with her husband, Sayam Kochar, that solidified her point of view (just don’t you dare mention Eat, Pray, Love, okay?). “We were there to meet our suppliers, but as I started playing around with fabrics, I realized I wanted to incorporate the Indian concept of chakras into the clothes,” explains Daniella.
It might sound like complicated inspiration for a line of unfussy skirts, dresses, and tops, but the philosophy, based on the body’s seven different energy points, inspired Daniella to start folding her clothes in origami-like ways—a tuck here, a twist there—each radiating from one of those spots. Officially launched in late 2015 (with Sayam’s help on the biz side), Ajaie Alaie nails the kinds of pieces busy, boss women want: high-neck textured silk dresses and cotton-linen wrap skirts that can totally hold their own in a morning meeting...but can take on a late night, too.