Aza Ziegler, a California-raised, New York-trained, and Los Angeles-based clothing designer, sells her surf/skate inspired brand Calle Del Mar in locations all over the world. Her unique, West Coast-inspired style is directly influenced by her roots in California—a location that shaped her creativity, worldview, and professional perspective. For a change of scenery and influence, Ziegler travels to Marfa, Texas, to hunker down and gather fresh inspiration. We asked Ziegler to take us along on her desert escape and guide us through her favorite destinations in this secluded art hub in the Lone Star State.

Describe how your upbringing in California influenced the brand you design today.

When Calle Del Mar first started to manifest, I was living in New York, working long hours and dreaming of the ease of a California summer. Growing up in California was already a huge part of my personal style, but it became an even more prominent part of my identity when I moved out of state. Calle Del Mar is the name of the street where I spent my summers and weekends growing up—where the ocean meets the mountains. I wanted to design a line that evoked a similar feeling to the one you get driving through those streets with the windows down, chasing the sun before it melts into the ocean.

Why do you travel to Marfa, Texas (a destination so far from the ocean) for artistic influence for Calle del Mar?

My initial inspiration for Calle Del Mar  was my obsession with vintage surf and skate culture and my longing for California, but it has evolved into my relationship with landscape, nature, and most importantly color. When I first went to Marfa, Texas,  I was blown away by the people, art, culture, and vibrancy in this town that is so far removed—it’s about a 45-minute drive from any other town in Texas on all sides.

What inspires you in Marfa, Texas?

The energy in Marfa inspires me—the colors, the ease of life, the sky. I love the simplicity of architectural design there. The town is filled with artists, writers, musicians, designers, photographers, tastemakers, and stylists who were drawn to this place for the lifestyle it offers. Every time I go it has changed—but that’s the beauty of it.

How is travel important to your perspective as a designer?

My parents traveled all over the world as artists and writers, so sometimes I believe that it’s built into my DNA. A new place always clears my mind, and I think that getting out of your comfort zone is important for creativity. On an artistic level, travel influences my designs, but also on a completely practical level, it helps me see how my clothes fit into many cities. The palette for the collection I am working on now is completely inspired by Marfa’s landscape and the colors I encountered there. I have lists of places I want to see, and I always bring Calle Del Mar with me. 

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Wandering Designer: Aza Ziegler in Marfa, Texas
Designer Aza Ziegler travels often to Marfa, Texas to gather fresh inspiration for her brand, Calle Del Mar. Scroll through the slideshow for a look at Ziegler’s favorite spots in this southern art hub.
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    Designer Aza Ziegler’s Guide to Marfa, Texas
    Designer Aza Ziegler travels often to Marfa, Texas to gather fresh inspiration for her brand, Calle Del Mar. Scroll through the slideshow for a look at @azaziegler’s favorite spots in this southern art hub. 

    Courtesy of Aza Ziegler
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    The View From Above
    This snapshot captures the Texan desert landscape as Ziegler flew in for her most recent visit. Big Bend National Park is just a short distance away.

    Photo by @azaziegler
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    El Cosmico
    “The first time I visited Marfa I spent a night in a trailer at El Cosmico. It was definitely what you would call ‘glamping.’ All of the trailers, tepees, and tents are colorful and decorated in a chic western style—it was a perfect place to prance around in Calle Del Mar.” 

    Photo by @azaziegler
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    The Get Go
    “There’s only a handful of restaurants and bars in town. The Get Go is basically the only grocery store, so make sure you check when it’s open!”

    Photo by @azaziegler
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    Do Your Thing Coffee
    “Do Your Thing is a super cute café where they make great espresso, homemade bread, and pastries. The owner is a musician and a foodie, so the place always houses musicians for live shows.” 

    Photo by @azaziegler
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    Shop Freda
    “Shop Freda is one of my favorite stores in Marfa—the owner hand-selects books by local illustrators and other ‘Made in the USA’ gems. She has relationships with everyone she carries in the store, which from a designer’s perspective is super cool.”

    Photo by @azaziegler
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    Chinati Foundation
    “The Chinati Foundation is a must-go. My favorite part was the Dan Flavin exhibit. Amazing.”

    Photo by @azaziegler
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    Prada Store
    This pop-up Prada store is one of the most famous art installations in the United States. It sits on the long, quiet road that leads to Marfa. It might just be the most Instagrammable place in the world.

    Photo by @azaziegler
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    Marfa Lights
    “One of the coolest things to do in Marfa is to look for the famous mystery lights at night. They have gained some fame as onlookers have credited them to paranormal phenomena. It’s so crazy to look out at a dark desert landscape and see lights in the sky that you cannot explain.” 

    Photo by @azaziegler
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    Road to Nowhere
    “Marfa is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It’s truly the wild, wild, West. The roads are endless, and the sky is an ocean itself.” 

    Photo by @azaziegler

 Follow her on Instagram.

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