I’m Alex Veltri from Portland, Oregon. I’m 22 and I’m on the come-up as a concept designer and I’ve done work as a personal stylist and I’m super grateful to have been able to voice my opinion on a few other creative projects and improve their outcome.
1: Why and when did you start using clothing as an outlet of self-expression?
As far as I remember I have always been aware and in control of what I wear. It has a lot to do with the type of person you see yourself as. I just knew in pre-school Nikes were cooler than Hercules light-up shoes. There are so many stories I could tell but I’ll try to make it pretty simple and say I’ve felt a responsibility to look a certain way my whole life because of what my parents instilled in me and the generation that they grew up in was very old school. You leave the house looking nice and you aren’t supposed to waste money on something that doesn’t have longevity or superior quality. There are millions of other variables that tie into style and how the subconscious affects the look of your outfits but I will say that one of them for me is understanding that everything in life is about finding a balance. So, I found that I tend to lean towards a balanced outfit and make sure nothing stands out too much but nothing is left behind as well.
2: As a stylist, is it harder to create your own collection, or is it easier?
We’ll see with the development of the work with BLK RBN. So far, the balance of each look is coming together really well and as far as the principles of collection we’re still tying it together but that’s why you work a year and a half in advance to produce quality product. Going back and forth on ideas is huge and whether or not your first idea is the winner through all the rounds of critique, it’s still necessary to put it through the ringer and find out if it can stand all the way through the process
3: What do you hope to accomplish when working on designs or consulting others?
Those are two completely different facets but I’ll start with consulting. The point of consulting is to bring in new ideas and an outside perspective. Questioning the product, concept, etc. is what allows me to move on. The goal is really just to have a well-rounded idea or product. Fashion is becoming pretty saturated and most people behind a startup brand aren’t willing to hear criticism in the first place, let alone pay for it. Hence why I’ve focused more on designs. It’s more of a deliverable and I can follow my own processes.
4.dream job, hopes, and wishes?
The freedom to create is really what it comes down to. Pairing that with an ability to affect culture at large and be compensated and recognized appropriately would be the epitome of a dream come true. As human beings our identity is our most important asset and if all goes as planned I will be able to provide a range of product that’s inherited by my identity.
5. Who is your biggest inspiration and who you do you look to when designing certain pieces?
Karl Lagerfeld is a huge inspiration for me. Mainly because if you watch some of his interviews after massive shows that take months and months of hard work they ask him if he’s planning on celebrating and his answer is no. It’s not something that needs to be celebrated because it’s kind of a celebration in itself to showcase the art and creative expression. When I’m designing there are definitely a lot of different things that inspire me and spark thoughts but I take those thoughts and spin it into a product. There’s some kind of personal story behind most of my ideas so, that’s where I try to go in my mind when I’m designing.
6. What is the biggest struggle of designing clothing?
I don’t really look at it as a struggle. It’s all just part of the process. Excellence is the bare minimum and with that as a design principal it just means whatever needs to be done to make that happen, whether it’s difficult or tedious or not…the process has to be completed.
7. Tell me about the brand you are working with.
I was granted the opportunity to design for BLK RBN and I think it’s a perfect match. David (BLK RBN’s founder) and I have very similar taste and background making our relationship an easy and transparent one. The brand is essentially founded off of athletics and that will tie into the designs in a way. But the focal point is to make extremely high quality garments that use texture and technical functionality that doesn’t cut any corners. We have our first release in Fall/Holiday 2015 so look out for that.
I’m also working on a Fall Capsule collection set to release this fall with Jaefields, and I’m super excited for what we have in store. I’ve known Wookie for almost a year now and I think we knew working together was unavoidable. We have bounced ideas creatively over and over and collaboration was just bound to happen.
8. What is something that is absolutely essential to your closet?
A suit. I might not wear a suit super often, but to me, it is so important that when a suit is necessary that it fits perfect.
9. What is your favorite brand at the moment and why? (I can link them)
So for the next 6 months I’m rotating a couple staple pieces in my wardrobe and I didn’t intend for it to happen like this but Kenzo is a large part of that. I love the colors they use and their themes are all very cohesive and fun, which is what fashion and style, should be. I’m a generally happy person and I think their designs suit me well, which is why you’ll be seeing me wearing a lot of their SS14 items.
10. Lastly do you have any advice regarding stylist & designers?
Don’t quit on your taste and don’t quit in general. Riff Raff is a perfect example. He is so bright and loud with his style and a lot of people knocked him on the way to where he’s at now but he stayed true to himself and now people are forced to accept it. The Bad Boys era from the Pistons has been another one of my favorite analogy – “You aren’t really allowed to make people uncomfortable anymore…but the Pistons don’t give a shit.” Nobody wanted Detroit to win except Detroit natives but nobody can take away the fact that they are back-to-back champions. That goes for everyone – reach success and nobody can take it away from you.
Thank you for ready . Follow Alex @alexveltri