By Madeline Bates
Arizona Fashion week (AZFW) featured talented designers, dozens of models, and supporters of all ages and passions. Kendria Godair, the owner of Dria Dair Boutique, has had the brand for almost a decade.
Godair started her brand in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. When the pandemic hit, and she along with much of the retail industry were forced to close their doors, her company had to quickly shift online. Months later, when safety measures were still in place, she decided to relocate to Arizona and continue selling online.
Godair explained that as difficult as the pandemic was, she liked that she was able to step back and enjoy being with her two children and giving back to the community. Payroll, overhead, and the typical nine-to-five are all parts of owning a small business that Godair does not miss.
“Sometimes I dabble and I think about getting a store again but then I remember that I felt really tied down to it,” Godair said.
She describes Dria Dair as a “lifestyle brand” and crafts her designs to fit every aspect of life.
“I focus on comfort and class at the same time,” Godair said.
To her, “lifestyle” is anything you could wear during the day and should evolve with every aspect of life. She mentioned that during the pandemic, she wore lots of sweatpants and loungewear as well as prioritized comfort in her outfits. The inspiration for many of her designs is her life. Now that more events are resurfacing, Godair notes that more people are “buttoning up their jeans” to get back to work, school, and other events. While she doesn’t design evening wear, she was happy to be in a dress and heels for a night out.
Aside from her brand, Godair loves assisting the community. One of her personal missions is to clothe more people, and not just those who can afford it. As an avid volunteer at food banks and other organizations, she also gives unsold garments to those in need.
“If I could give all my clothes away I could,” Godair said.
Charity is one of the many things that Godair fills her time with. She explained that she separates her passions into a “pie chart,” and her business is only one part of her life. Aside from Dria Dair, she is a mom to two children, volunteers at a food bank in Mesa at least once a month as well as pursues an online degree in Spanish.
“My business is part of my life, it isn’t my life,” Godair said.
Godair hopes that people of all ages are interested in her brand, and she is tenacious in her beliefs that dressing for your age is “bullshit.” She noted that she is inspired by some of the fashion choices of older women and especially the ones that are unapologetic about their style choices.
Dria Dair’s Fall Collection debuted at AZFW on Nov. 5, 2022, at the Arizona State University Mix Center in Mesa.