Lupe Gajardo is an emerging fashion designer from Santiago, Chile. She is widely known as the Latin American fashion’s “prodigy child.”
Lupe launched her self-named brand in 2010 and immediately caught the attention of Latin Vogue among many other medium in the industry with her fresh and unique talent. She showcased her F/W 2015 collection during NYFW this year. We also had the pleasure of interviewing this rising star after her show. See her full interview below.
When did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
It all began when I first started working as an independent designer, 6 years ago. Surprisingly, that was when I started to feel that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted creativity and art present on my daily life, but in all honesty it wasn’t up until recently that I realized this was going to become a reality through fashion design. I had so much unfounded prejudice against “the fashion industry”. Time, experience and life proved me wrong. Today, fashion is my vehicle of expression. My craft.
How would you describe your brand?
Young, edgy and conscious. This brand takes risks. I got rid of the fears that constantly limit us as a society: the pressure to “fit in.” That freedom and acceptance makes Lupe Gajardo a brand that in its DNA is always exploring; seeking new horizons and pushing the boundaries; changing.
It is my own vision that the concepts that inspire the brand and the collections must be deep and relevant in order to connect our audience. Lupe Gajardo’s distinguishing features are beauty; a sense of craft; a strong, confident silhouette; and the marriage of Latin American tradition with the avant-garde. The brand rescues the beauty of simplicity. The unpretentious.
But even more than that, it offers a fresh injection of Latin America’s energy, power and soul for the truly authentic, stylish and daring to experiment and feel.
How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
The evolution of my work has been extremely fast. Ever since I started working independently I have a very strict and intense work routine. I enjoy very much spending hours experimenting in my workshop.
I’m super self-demanding. This is difficult at times, but hard work has given me the confidence and security that my proposal is solid and inspirational. Today, I really feel I have built strong foundations for the brand and we begin a new phase on a very solid ground.
I’ve been highly honored and rewarded by the reviews of my latest collection showcased in New York Fashion Week. This is a huge energy boost and incentive to keep going.
What advice would you give to young designers?
This is no easy path. It requires endless hours of work, sleepless nights and plenty of mental focus and dedication. Having that part clear first prevents potential frustrations and helps managing expectations.
Everything takes time and effort. Don’t try to take shortcuts or accelerate the natural order of things. It’s not worth it. I’m a huge believer of hard work, perseverance and consistency. Good things will happen to hard-working people.
More than anything else though: be authentic and always trust your intuition.
What is your favorite design from your collection this season and why?
The green-olive dress that is held by a belt on the waist. I believe that dress fully represents the essence of the collection: elegant and sophisticated, but simple and unpretentious. Also, it has a hidden beauty on the construction itself: it has no seam at all. It is a tubular weave that achieves movement only by two points of tension.
Your designs are stunningly beautiful! What are some materials and techniques you used that are unique for the Fall/Winter Collection?
Thank you so much! I’m glad and honored that you liked them.
The coffee-sacks are original from Brazil and were re-utilized as textile to give shape and form to very functional and trendy clothes.
What are your inspirations in creating your designs?
Generally, I find myself attracted to urban situations. I’m a big time walker and love to observe people. Common people. I just try to rescue the beauty of the simple things in life. Those things you usually don’t pay attention to, either because people are “used” to them, or because they’re labeled as “ugly”. I am also inspired by chaos. I truly find freedom in it from a different viewpoint.
Who did you have in mind as the ideal recipient of your designs?
I had in mind an authentic and relaxed woman that appreciates art and design.
You just finished your showcase at NYFW. Can you give us a sneak peek into what you have in store for the next season?
Sure. Here are some tips…
Atacama Desert. Punk. Sand gold. Rihanna.
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