Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Erick A. Lemos

Erick A. Lemos is a fashion designer who hails from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At a young age, he has always been very curious. He has always liked creating things with his hands and experimenting in all branches of art itself. His first introduction to the world of fashion was in 2012 when he saw a Comme des Garcons show and since then it has been an adventure. But in 2017 was when he got his big break because he was able to break into the fashion industry after working backstage at various fashion shows and appearing in several editorials for magazines.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Erick to discuss his journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about being a designer?

What I enjoy the most is the creative process behind a collection, researching and creating everything from scratch, like textiles and silhouettes. Also, the connections that can be made in the creative industry.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

I don’t think there is a downside, only that it is a very competitive industry, but on the one hand, it is good because it requires you to give your best.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

I would say to be part of fashion productions in magazines and runaways with wonderful people. But also having met my classmates who have become more than friends.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

All the people I have met have been interesting and important in my life. I have learned many things from them and I will always be grateful.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

“All hard work has its rewards” no matter if it is in the fashion industry or outside of it.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes, they have always been, regardless of what I have dedicated myself to. From taking art classes to playing the guitar. I can say that I am lucky.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I would travel back in time to tell myself that I must be more aware of the moments that I have lived and appreciate them a little more.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

“If it fits in your mind, it fits in your world,” meaning; if we trust in ourselves we can achieve many things.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it

The first thing I want to do is work with some established fashion brands, to get more experience and then start my own brand. I am clear that the future is uncertain so I will let it surprise me.

Fashion Designer To Watch Out For In 2021: Introducing The Talented Elle B Mambetov

Elle B Mambetov was originally born and bred in Texas, she moved to London in 2011 to begin her career in fashion. The 2012 debut of her womenswear label Elle B Zhou at London Fashion Week was a hit and she quickly became the new designer to watch. While her star was on the rise, Elle was dealt an unexpected blow derailing the launch of her empire for two years. Betrayed by a friend she was falsely accused of a crime and spent time in a maximum-security UK prison before the U.S. Government stepped in to free her. Elle documented her unbelievable story in her 2019 book A6347DW: American Captive which can be found on Apple. Through perseverance, she was able to turn tragedy into triumph when she moved to Los Angeles to relaunch her womenswear line Elle B Zhou which is now bigger than ever. Along with her flagship store in the Beverly Center, Elle is poised to change the perception of modest fashion with her bold luxury designs. Elle’s multi-brand boutique showcases not only her own brand but other Middle Eastern brands such as Yataghan, Okhtein, Azzi & Osta, SemSem, and European brands such as Ecriteau and Dreamboule. Her latest womenswear collection “Let the Stars Be Our Guide” exhibits a constellation map over Mecca in an industry pioneering online virtual presentation with the help of Egyptian actress Huda El Mufti. This hot young designer is making headlines in such publications as Forbes, Essence, Glamour UK, Vogue Australia, and Marie Clare Arabia. A recent partner with Farfetch, Elle made exclusive color-infused modest designs for this international platform in celebration of Ramadan. Elle lends her voice as a FEED Ambassador and together with Lauren Bush Lauren is helping provide meals and support to children all over the world. When not working or giving back to her community, Elle enjoys bike riding, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Elle to discuss her journey in the fashion world and here’s what went down:

1.How did you get into the fashion industry?

No one invited me that’s for sure. I had this plan in my mind and just invited myself in. I moved to China to learn about manufacturing before moving to London and making my debut as a London Fashion Week Designer.

2.What do you like most about being a designer?

I am a creator, so being a fashion designer allows me to be innately who I am. It’s such a blessing to be able to do what you love. Making custom prints and then imagining them into garments is such a dreamy experience.

3.Downside to being a fashion designer?

There is no downside to being a fashion designer when it is your dream. Being a business owner has its ups and downs and its own challenges, but being a fashion designer is as truly magical and whimsical as one would imagine. I love it.

4.What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

My very first opening of London Fashion Week with my womenswear line Elle B. Zhou is something I will never forget. That moment for me represented so much more than just the unveiling of a new collection. It was proof to myself that I had evolved in fashion in a way that I never thought I would, as I had always been afraid of womenswear. I feared that women wouldn’t understand the designs I was making for them. The positive feedback was something I will always hold dear in that moment.

5.Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

People are people, whether celebrities or some of my best clients in the Elle B Zhou boutique, I am so honored to have to love and support of so many people who love the brand and the boutique.

6.What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.
.
It’s important to be true to yourself and your own design aesthetic. It’s that, that people will love and respect you for in the end.

7. Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Absolutely! My mom was very supportive from day one of me finding my passion in life. As a child, while I was very immersed in arts and crafts and sewing lessons, I also took tennis, ballet, basketball, soccer, and baseball. My mom was adamant we find our passion. She got a little bit nervous at times when I would do something random in my career like up and move to China, but she has always been supportive.

8. If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

Never take that Virgin gym membership where I met the man who stole my identity…. In some ways, it’s such a hard question to answer. I believe that everything happens for a reason so I try to learn from the things that have happened that I didn’t like and would want to change, no matter how dire they have been.

9. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

My mother has always called me her magnum opus, meaning “a large and important work of art, music, or literature, especially one regarded as the most important work of an artist or writer.” I was always told I was special, and I believed her. Even when it felt like the world was against me, and in the moments I felt alone, I believed in myself. Even if no one believes in you, always believe in yourself.

10. What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it in yourself.

The Elle B Zhou boutique is growing in some exciting new ways, and I am looking forward to the future of the company, the brand, and my own personal growth. I think I’m nearly ready to start having kids so that will be an exciting adventure of its own! We’ll see what happens, whatever Allah wills.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: The Woman In the Window with Julianne Moore and Amy Adams

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Color, I just love it. It makes me very happy.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? I really want to visit Tokyo, Japan.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d ” Relax.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? I have no concept of time and my internal clock is genuinely off. But it allows me to work fast and accomplish things faster
because I don’t seem realize it’s only been one week instead of
one month, or two months instead of 5 or 6.

Emerging Designer To Watch Out For In 2021: Introducing The Talented Isla Campbell

Isla Campbell is the designer and maker behind Studio_icampbell.

Studio_icampbell is a small and sustainable fashion studio based in Cornwall. Her core principles are to produce high-quality garments designed with the functionality of workwear whilst upholding style and comfort, and she deliberately designs and develops her garments with time, care and consideration.

She’s inspired by the natural world and the people she meets to produce artistic yet functional workwear.

Her designs start as simple line drawings in a sketchpad, then morphed into patterns laid out on linen, in such a way as to minimise material wastage. When meticulously cut from the cloth and sewn together, these garments, made to last, may begin their life full of love and adventure outside the studio. The sustainable fabrics and earthy colours that she chooses are particularly important to her work as they inform her design process.

When you buy a piece from Studio_icampbell you can be assured of the quality and sustainability of my practice. The nature of the fabrics is such that it will change with time to embrace the uniqueness of the wearer’s body and its movements. So, as you live and change so too can your clothes. In this way, your clothes gather your life stories and become more fitting, more ‘yours’.

As another important element of her sustainable approach to designing workwear clothes, Studio_icampbell offers a bespoke mending service where you can bring your favourite pieces back to where they were made to be mended.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Isla to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

Since GCSE’s I have always known that I wanted to be working with my hands and so I did work experience in both Interior Design and PR for Fashion Brands, working in the behind scenes of fashion I was able to go and work at LFW on three separate occasions. It was there that I saw the team of sempstress’ sewing before the show that I knew then I wanted to be the one making the garments.

What do you like most about being a designer?

Being able to design clothes that I myself would wear and then seeing these 2D sketches come to life when created in a unique fabric

The downside to being a fashion designer?

The downside is that it really never stops, I love keeping busy but as this is my own business there is always something to do…especially the business side and making sure that everything will run smoothly.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

Definitely when I went to Amsterdam having differed a year of uni after my second year to intern for 8 months for the couture designer Iris Van Herpen.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Other creators, I believe that collaboration is an integral part of my process and so I’ve worked alongside a number of really creative designs to create something totally unique.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

To trust yourself, that everything is a risk, whether it’s buying a roll of fabric for £200, it’s super important to know that no matter what you’ll make it work. And also to keep going, no matter what!

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

My mum and sister and brother are very supportive. My sister actually just got engaged this morning and she’s asked me to make her wedding dress.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I would have looked for my own shop from the start, and also do a business module…but there’s still time for that.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

From my experience in Amsterdam, I was told to never be scared to ask questions or ask for help.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

With this upcoming new shop, I hope to make a name for myself as a slow fashion Designer in Cornwall. I would really like to move more into creating unique bespoke clothes that are made to measure and continue to explore sustainable fabrics. I also really want to move into menswear clothes as most of my designs and fabric choices are gender-neutral.

 

In Photos: Here’s Looking Back At The 2021 Australian Multicultural Fashion Festival

The (AMFF) Australian Multicultural Fashion Festival brought together the modelling and fashion industry last March 2021 at the luxurious PIA Grand Auditorium. The magnitude of originality and fashion design excellence at this event definitely stayed with us.

Everyone walked away from the show with a new respect for the diverse cultures and their innovative designers. Each of the remaining highlights were riveting to partake in and further enhanced the AMFF experience. This event was brought to you by AMBN (The Australian Millionaires Business Network), The Millionaire Alliance, The Multicultural Business Centre, StarCentral Media Group powered by the Poperty Investors Alliance, Aland, Deicorp, Villoni Boutique, Lepou, Lux Modelling & Fashion Academy, International Fashion & Beauty, Model & Mode magazine, Sassy & Co magazine and The Australian Millionaire Magazine.

These were the highlights of the night: Fashion Show featuring PIR CEO Fai Peni’s collection – Lepou, Villoni Boutique, Leatheron, Visage Boutique, Belle Epoque, and The Silky Lane.

Designer Spotlight: Make Way For The Talented Rozalia

Ever since she was a child, Rozalia continuously developed her passion for fashion. In her creations, you’ll be able to celebrate the beauty of nature and the wonderful architecture of your body. She feels inspired and attracted by the “modern,” but always with faith in love for traditional reasons, and the handmade embroidery, which makes your special outfit unique. She believes that women are designed to shine and be admired. But women’s sensual way of being is indeed empowered by what they wear and how they wear it. This is why she allows herself the challenge of complimenting your truly complex architecture. Some of her greatest accomplishments are NYFW, Abu Dhabi, Bratislava, Beijing(with the price for The Most Creative Designer), Paris, and she also has plans this month to open her own showroom in Timișoara, Romania, Iulius Mall Locațion.

Meet The Model Behind The Cover Of The February 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: Madison Croft

Madison Croft is currently 19 years old and she has been modelling and acting internationally since the young age of 14. She’s a personal trainer and owner of MadBodz Fitness – a thriving small business. She loves her job as every day she gets the blessing of helping people on their journey to improving physical and mental health. Maddie has always loved the saying “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” and she feels she has definitely achieved this! Her ultimate goal is to have a successful career in the modelling and acting industry and she always says that she will never give up on that goal.

Towards the end of last year, Madison was crowned the first runner-up at the first-ever Australian Multicultural Fashion Awards for the year 2020. It has been a long time coming since she has been participating in pageants and modelling since the age of 14. She is currently a personal trainer and owner of MadBodz Fitness, and she is very passionate about educating people on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. She also works as a gymnastics coach, a model, and an actress.

Most people won’t know this, but at the age of 14, she was suffering from depression because of constant bullying at her school and even on social media. It was at this point that she was advised that by joining pageants, she would be able to make friends with similar interests and likes, and she would become much more confident and self-reliant – that’s the main reason why she started competing in pageants. After three years in the field, she says that she has made more friends and now possesses much more confidence in her communicative abilities.

Being a beauty queen and a model has its own perks of course. Madison enjoys having the opportunity to meet new people, encourage, empower and educate other teens on several issues, do charity work, and be an ambassador. The kicker for her is that she’s able to do all of these amazing things at the age of 16!

Of course, every upside will also have a downside as well. She does not look at them as downsides though – she prefers to look at them as lessons from which she can learn from. During her stint at pageantry, she has learned to stay true to herself, be who she wants to be, and not conform herself to the opinions of others.

Being successful in the fashion industry is tough. She has learned to be confident in her own skin and form, and not to be concerned with changing anything about herself for other people. She doesn’t focus on her looks too much these days, instead, she is more focused on her charity work and public speaking instead. She has always had her family’s support and encouragement in her foray into pageantry and she believes that her family’s support is the key reason for her tremendous success at such a young age.

Moving forward, Madison dreams of having a successful career in acting, modeling, and the fitness industry.

In Pictures: Pacific International Runway At AMFA 2020

The (AMFA) Australian Modelling & Fashion Awards brought together the modelling and fashion industry last December 2020 at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel. The magnitude of originality and fashion design excellence at this event definitely stayed with us. Everyone walked away from the show with a new respect for the diverse cultures and their innovative designers. Although the awarding session by various industry heavyweights was the main event; each of the remaining highlights was riveting to partake in and further enhanced the AMFA experience. Here’s an exclusive look at the Pacific International Runway collection by Lepou, Kovie Richardson, and Ikii Haangana at the 2020 Australian Modelling and Fashion Awards.

The Search For Sassy & Co Magazine’s Next Cover Girl Has Just Dropped!

The search for Sassy & Co magazine’s ultimate cover girl is back on!

Sassy & Co Magazine in collaboration with MS Entertainment Network and StarGazers Production is once again on the lookout to find Australia’s ultimate cover girl!

The Grand final night is on Sunday, the 20th of December 2020.

$3000 in cash and prizes are up for grabs!

No previous experience required – you must be between 18 years to 30 years of age.

If you think you have what it takes to be the Next BIG thing then get in contact with us asap as there are only a few spots available! Please contact Krissy at kriss@starcentralmag.com, Juliet / 0482 560 503, or Maryrose Salubre on 0423 710 659 if you’re interested in entering the competition.

What are you waiting for?? Join NOW!

Meet The Model Behind The Cover Of The October 2020 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: The Beautiful Abi Grigsby

Abi Grigsby, the beautiful, charming, and angelic model has established herself as one of the hardest-working models in the industry. She initially got into the modelling industry by entering beauty pageants. She first joined the Top Model of the World Philippines pageant back in July 2016 within 2 weeks’ notice. The pageant needed a certain number in order for the competition to go ahead and she was contacted by the director of the pageant to join. She eventually became the second runner up, which shocked her as she had no previous experience at all in pageants sho she wasn’t even expecting to make it into the Top 5.

The following year she entered a pageant called “Mutya Ng Pilipinas Australia” (Pearl of Australia) beauty pageant. She gained a lot of exposure in the modelling industry by joining this pageant which lead her into me meeting the majority of the photographers that she now works with regularly. When she competed overseas she also gained several contacts with various modelling agencies and photographers over there and throughout 2017 she also competed in the Miss International Australia pageant where she finished as Second Runner Up, as well as winning the Miss Model of the World Title. Furthermore, she competed in the Miss Teen Universe Australia pageant in December of that year. All of these competitions lead her to meet so many creatives in the industry; photographers who were looking for fresh faces to shoot, as well as makeup artists who needed a model to work on for skill enhancements. Slowly, through these connections, she was able to build the network that she currently has.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Abi to discuss her journey in the modelling industry and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about being a model?

The thing I enjoy most about being a model would have to be the newfound confidence that I have gained over the years as a model. I was someone who really used to struggle with self-esteem issues, but it wasn’t until I started modelling that I came to accept and be happy with how I look, and the person that I am.

I have also been fortunate enough to work with various creatives who each provided a different style for each shoot, which has given me the option to explore with different looks. I started modelling For Milliner’s designs in late 2018, my first designer being Anna Bella Millinery, who is based in London. I modelled at the Melbourne Derby Day, showing off her dress designs and her hats with other models. I also modelled for Felicity Northeast Milliner for her spring collection in 2019, which was featured in Mornington Peninsula magazine.

I had never modelled such high-class designs before, so this experience itself really helped me feel comfortable in my own skin, and opened me up to another world!

The Downside to being a model?

The downside to being a model that I have encountered would have to be that people tend to make assumptions about you and your personality when you tell them that you’re a model. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they thought I’d be a snobby/conceited person because of the fact that I model, rather than taking the time to get to know me first.

A lot of people will make assumptions about you based on your profession, but I try not to let this bother me and stay focused on what I want by working hard and not allowing room for distractions.

Another downside is that many people who aren’t in the industry assume that modelling is easy, or requires little to no effort at all. To be a model takes great perseverance and determination, as many models such as myself face constant rejection and negative comments about our appearance/body. It takes a lot of work to get into the industry, which is something that many people look over. It can get discouraging at times, but I find it’s best for myself to always remind myself of the hard work I have gone through, and to realise that I don’t owe everyone an explanation.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the modelling industry so far?

Thinking back to when I started, I can’t actually pinpoint an exact memory from modelling that has stuck with me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every step, but the most memorable experience of being in the modelling industry would have to be the whole experience that comes on the day of a photo shoot. I live an hour and a half away from Melbourne city, which is where the majority of my shoots takes place. I always enjoy the travel into the city, as well as travelling to where my photoshoots take place, as the majority of the time it is not at the same place. Aside from the travel, I do enjoy dressing up and getting glammed up for my shoots. I feel most like myself when I am dolled up and in front of the camera!

The Photo Studio Fitzroy;Fashion Satomi Matsura; Abagail Grigsby

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I’d say the most interesting people I’ve met would have to be some of the photographers and makeup artists that I meet while I’m on set. Many of the creatives that I work with are a lot like me, they often take up photography/makeup as a side job, rather than their full-time job. It’s nice to meet people who are similar to you, and share similar interests while also working other jobs, and working incredibly hard so they are able to project themselves further in the industry.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the modelling industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

The most valuable lesson I have learned would be to not compare myself to others. Before I began modelling I never thought I would have a chance, as I compared myself to many other high profile models, such as Miranda Kerr. I always assumed that because I didn’t look like these girls I saw in billboards and commercials that I wouldn’t make it at all in the modelling world.

However as continued on and booked more jobs, I realised that every different look will serve a purpose for each job/photographer. There will always be someone out there who will need a look like yours for a certain job/promotion, so I’ve learned that I shouldn’t bother worrying about looking like someone else when looking exactly the way you do is more than enough.

Is your family supportive of you being a model?

Yes, fortunately, my family is very supportive of my modelling! My mother wanted me to start modelling when I was 13, however, I had very little confidence back then and I was also very shy. I did not see myself as someone who could get far in the industry at all, and I also at the time had assumed that people would think of me as very conceited if I started modelling. I didn’t have a very positive view of the modelling world, or of models themselves, which was a real deterrent for me at that time.

As the years went by and as I developed a love for beauty pageants, it also shifted my focus onto modelling, and it wasn’t until I started my first few photoshoots that I really started to enjoy what I was doing, and then made the decision to go as far as I possibly could in the industry.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

The main thing I would do differently would be to not jump at every opportunity that comes my way, no matter how big of a deal it may seem to be at first. I used to do this a lot when I first started in the industry, and I would just throw myself out to any opportunity that came my way, without thinking things through clearly. This resulted in a lot of waste of time and money for myself, as I was promised certain jobs would lead to very high exposure/good money, while actually resulting in none of that.

So if I could go back in time, I would tell myself not to rush things too much and to take it slow. Not every opportunity is what it claims to be, and when the time is right, the right opportunity will come!

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I have ever been given is to take my time. Often I’ve been really impatient and have compared myself to others who have gotten further in the industry in a shorter amount of time. I’m fortunate to have a close group of friends who support me fully and encourage me to remain patient and on track, and who assure me that things will work in my way if I continue to remain focused and not be put off by others in any way.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

My future plans are to travel overseas and to pick up both modelling and acting overseas. With the current Covid-19 situation, that will likely be put on hold for a while. My plan was to travel towards the end of this year for a few months and to then see if I could establish a career in a different country, but again, I will need to remain patient in my endeavours, and hopefully, things will be able to pick up for my career in the near future.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Just go with it. (On Netflix)

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? As cliche as it sounds, inner beauty will always be more important than physical beauty. The way you treat other people and your kindness is something that greatly impacts another person, without even realising it. It’s always better to be beautiful on the inside than on the outside!

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Travel the world!

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d… ” try bungee jumping.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? The one “flaw” I will never change is being too picky/ too much of a perfectionist. I’ve often been teased about this by my friends, saying I care too much about things that they don’t perceive as important. But it’s this trait that I have that has caused me to get to where I am today, as I’ve focused a lot of my energy towards what I know I want in life, and have not allowed distractions to get in the way.

GRIAD4823

Designer Spotlight: Introducing The Incredible Carolina Dalfo

Carolina Dalfo is a 29-year-old fashion designer who’s originally from Argentina but is currently based in New York. Her academic career includes a BA in Fashion and Textile Design from UADE in Buenos Aires and a MA in Critical theory and the Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Besides being a designer at such prestigious and important brand like Ralph Lauren, She’s the founder and chair of LATA, the Latinx Alumni Together in the Arts Association at the School of Visual Arts and the Owner of DALFO, her own line of silk scarves that will launch in the next couple of months.

Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Carolina to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?

My name is Carolina Dalfó, I am originally from Argentina, but I am based in New York, where I work as a fashion designer. I have experience working for leading brands such as Ralph Lauren, Robert Geller, Opening Ceremony, and Gustav Von Aschenbach and along with companies such as Lululemon, Dreamworks, Pintrill, and Hare on special projects and collaborations. My work has been featured in publications such as Vogue, Vogue Russia, Vogue France, Women’s Wear Daily, The Washington Post, The New York Times, W Magazine, Esquire, and The Impression. Besides being a designer at such prestigious and important brand like Ralph Lauren, I am the Founder and Chair of LATA, the Latinx Alumni together in the Arts Association at the School of Visual Arts and the Owner and Designer of DALFO, my own line of silk scarves that will launch in the next couple of months.

How did you get into the fashion industry?

When I was in my early teens, I became very interested in Art, especially its ability to conceal a deeper meaning and unfold for us the more we examine it. I believe it was that same quality that attracted me to fashion. The university I attended in Buenos Aires had a very open approach to Design. We were not only trained on how to translate an abstract idea to a tangible garment, which is ultimately what Fashion designers do but installed in us the idea of fashion as a system that observes and absorbs from its environment to reflect and inform social dynamics. A sign of the times. The possibility of seeing Fashion like that was very appealing to me and as it had happened with art years before, I was intrigued by that hidden essence. Fashion is more than meets the eye.

What do you like most about being a designer?

There are many aspects of being a designer I like. I have met so many talented people whom I have developed many great products for. Many of those colleagues are really good friends of mine now and always a source of inspiration. As a designer, you never stop learning, all the work I’ve done, and all the work I’m doing is constantly shaping and improving my own process. I really like that about being a designer. There are no walls, no ends, just endless exploration, and constant evolution. Another aspect I enjoy is creating something I’m proud of that customers love when it comes out. Designing something that will make someone feel good is a very nice feeling.

The downside to being a fashion designer?

Clothing has a direct impact on how people perceive themselves, but unfortunately, they are sometimes conditioned by made-up rules about what they should or should not wear. I strongly believe clothing should be a way for people to feel empowered, not intimidated, so I find these rules not only unnecessary but counterproductive to helping people love themselves. Fashion as a whole should be more inclusive, in many senses.


In addition, there is also a worldwide conversation that is already happening about waste. There are too many products being created each season that turn obsolete the minute a newer version goes on the market, which only results in a dynamic of endless supply and demand that is damaging the planet. Thankfully, people are becoming more and more conscious of their consuming habits, but there is still a lot of work to be done, both as designers and consumers.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

One of the memories I treasure the most is during the Robert Geller Autumn Winter 2016 show during Fashion Week and tearing up watching the show on a TV screen backstage. Designing a collection is a fast but intense process and a runway show is the first time you share your creation with the world. I’d been in that position several times before, but in that specific moment, all the elements came together to create the most beautiful environment. It wasn’t just beautiful clothes anymore. It was pure beauty. I will never forget that.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Robert Geller is definitely in my top five. I started working with Robert when I was a very young designer, so he was the one that opened the doors of the industry for me and showed me how the mechanism works, a mentor. Robert’s team is very small. We all shared the same space and we would go for lunch and coffee runs in the afternoons, so it was impossible not to bond on a human level beyond Fashion Design. Robert is into Fashion in a way not many “fashion people” are, so I had the opportunity to develop my own taste and Design style while learning from him. To this day it’s a bit crazy to have a designer I admire so deeply as a friend. Fashion has introduced me to some amazing people. Joey Keefer and Ryotatsu Tanaka, who I met at Geller. Dylan Taverner from Lululemon Lab, who we worked with when we did the Robert Geller x Lululemon collaborations. Elizabeth Ozarowski, who I worked with when I was at Opening Ceremony. My favorite people to meet are those who are extraordinarily talented but incredibly humble, and the people I mentioned are exactly that.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

Besides learning to always feed my curiosity, resilience is probably the most important lesson that fashion has taught me. Fashion can be a frustrating industry at times, but there is a reason why I chose to be a designer. When times get tough, I try to go back to that excitement and love I feel for design and get the power to push through. It’s also a good lesson for life. When something doesn’t go your way, keep going.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes, definitely. My brother Enrique, who is a Pastry Chef, and I were lucky to be raised with the mindset that one should dedicate their life to something one feels passionate about. My father is a doctor and my mother is a Mathematics professor and they are both outstanding professionals in their fields and very passionate about what they do. Despite their fields being so far from mine, I never felt pressured to pursue a different career. To this day my parents are very encouraging of both my brother’s and my personal projects.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

That is a great question. When I was just getting started, I used to compare my career to other people. I am and always have been a hard worker. I have no problem being the first one in and the last one out. No matter how hard I worked, there were times I thought I wasn’t doing enough just because I wasn’t advancing the way I had pictured I would. It took me a while to understand I shouldn’t compare myself to others because that only creates a distraction and affects my own growth. I am now only focused on my career, shaping my path the way I want it to look like.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Growing up, my mother always told me that how you choose to communicate is as important as the point you are trying to make. A mother knows best.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

Before the pandemic, we had some events coming up for LATA at the School of Visual Arts that had to be canceled. I am looking forward to rescheduling those events and connecting with more Latinx Alumni on that platform. On a personal level, I have been working on DALFO, my own line of bold and colorful scarves for a while now. It has been a lot of work, but it is the first project I venture on by myself and I’m excited to launch it soon.