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.

Designer Spotlight: Make Way For The Talented Kadeem Alphanso Fyffe

Kadeem Alphanso Fyffe is a fashion designer, entrepreneur, actor, and public speaker. He is the founder and creative director of MUXE NEW YORK, and currently serves as the head of design at Acumen; his first collection for the Menswear Label debuts in Fall 2020.

Educated at the University of Richmond and Parsons School of Design, Kadeem has worked in the NYC Fashion Industry since 2013 as a Fashion Designer and Visual Merchandiser for the likes of Michael Kors, Gary Graham, Lyssé, PVH, and Mark Jacobs. His last role was Head of Design at WOLACO. He is an active member of the National Black Justice Coalition, and serves as a volunteer and committee member of NYC-based LGBT youth organization, Live Out Loud.

In 2016 he launched his own clothing label, MUXE NEW YORK, with the intent of creating unisex garments that comment on gender, politics, and culture. Kadeem is a passionate advocate for change to underrepresented communities, with a specific focus on the Black and LGBTQ+ communities.

Kadeem also started working as a commercial model and actor at 19 and has since appeared in TV, Film, and Stage in the US and Australia. He has lived 6 cities across three continents, visited 22 of the 50 U.S. States, and traveled to 15 countries.

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

How did you get into the fashion industry?

My first internship was in the Women’s Collection at Micheal Kors, which I completed while at Parsons. I completed my graduate studies at Parsons in 2014 and started working professionally as a Women’s RTW designer in New York City.

What do you like most about being a designer?

I love translating my inspirations into a full collection – the whole process of collection development, bringing something from initial concept to full fruition, is my favorite part of being a designer.

The downside to being a fashion designer?

The industry can be very cut-throat at times – some people see this as a downside, but I have always tried to use the competitive nature of the industry to push me to succeed and propel me forward. At Parsons, a student once cut the thread right out of my sewing machine – the joke was on her though because my garment still turned out the best – being better is the sweetest revenge.

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

I have had many memorable experiences, but if I had to pick one it would be the first time I worked backstage at NYFW while part of the design team at MK. It was the first time I saw supermodels in real life, and at one point I was 10 feet away from Anna Wintour. This was the moment I knew all my hard work had paid off, and I knew I deserved to be in the room with these people.

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

The most interesting people I have met have been during my time as the Head of Design at WOLACO. I was able to meet other young entrepreneurs, fitness influencers, and professional athletes – I found them interesting because they were all hustlers who had mastered the art of self-branding and promotion – and of course, they were insanely fit and easy on the eyes.

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

In the famed words of Emily from Devil Wears Prada, “a million girls would kill for this job” – so I’ve always worked my ass off, knowing full well I could be replaced with a quickness.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes – my family has always supported my creative pursuits.

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

At the beginning of my career, I would have focused more on networking and building and nurturing my professional and personal relationships.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

“Never give up”. It’s very simple.

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

I plan to continue to grow my business, while always remaining to opportunities to work as a Creative Director for brands that are meaningful to me.