Last year during one of the L.A. Fashion Week I had the opportunity to meet fashion designer Adolfo Sanchez. I really liked what I saw from his collection on the runway for the first time since being acquainted in New York. Mr. Sanchez fascinated me with his ability and creativity to design such amazing garments. I made a point to let him know that I admire his style and uniqueness. No doubt that each piece he creates is original and brilliantly constructed, with extraordinary quality and special attention to detail.
Since then I’ve spent a little more time, my schedule permitting, following his work and attending his events, curious to see how his work evolves with time.
The 26-year-old and youngest of four, with both parents from Mexico, was born in Los Angeles and raised just South of L.A. in Orange County. That’s where Mr. Sanchez took his first steps into the fashion scene. A self-taught designer who simply followed his passion for clothes which guided him to his destiny of his own couture line: a women’s ready-to-wear collection that launched in 2006. After just a couple of years his line grows more and more each season and he along with it — because it is meant to be.
He has been showing his collections to the most prestigious runway shows from L.A and Las Vegas to New York Fashion Weeks, featured in countless fashion magazines, with great opportunities of working with a lot of amazing people. He’s dressed celebrities from the Gossip Girl actresses Shayne Lamas from “Leave it to Lamas”, pulled clothes for Nicki Minaj for one of her albums, and has now been approached by Fergie’s stylist. Adolfo just presented the line to Rihanna’s stylists as well. Women want his clothes for their edgy, sexy and modern styles that adorn a woman’s body so well. Dressed in an Adolfo line makes you feel strong, unique and desirable. So enjoy this exclusive interview with the man behind the scenes. To learn more about Adolfo Sanchez, please visit his official web site.
RH: When did your career in the fashion industry begin? And what did you do before?
AS: When I was about 15 or 16 years old, I started to really get into the art of fashion. My primary group of friends were largely interested in several of the fashion houses; through their influence, I got my first taste of the who’s who of fashion. I remember them showing me runway shows from designers like Thierry Mugler and Vivienne Westwood. Later on I began working in retail and soon I worked for some of the larger fashion houses like Gucci, and Versace. In early 2006 I decided that I wanted to design and really explore pursuing a career in the industry. Prior to pursuing my interest in fashion, I was just a rebellious teenager who was intrigued by underground aspects of art/fashion/music and exploring the latest trends. I always experimented with what I wore and enjoyed standing out from the crowd.
RH: What inspired your collection? Is it easy to come up with new designs?
AS: This season I wanted to create a dark collection with an aesthetic was wearable for women from east to west. Initially it began with the idea of lace and then after bringing the concept of a Victorian Goth collection together the lace was only used as a mask. I always love combining soft and hard details together for example we had dresses with a leather bustier inspired bodice and chiffon skirts. Wool and fur were some of the other textiles that played a big role in this collection. Overall, the collection looks soft and feminine but still incorporates details that very much let people know who I am as a designer.
RH: What are the benefits of your career? What do you find most rewarding?
AS: The idea of seeing your vision come to life when you see the complete line, as well as being able to experience the process of growth as an unknown designer to being recognized for your work and aesthetic. It’s a very rewarding feeling professionally and personally to see the transformation occur.
RH: What is the most difficult aspect of running your own label?
AS: I am a perfectionist so my main discrepancy is that sometimes I feel there aren’t enough hours in the day to make sure every aspect of the business is running as efficiently as I expect it to.
RH: What do you think fashion needs more of right now?
AS: More creativity. I feel like the main focus is on wearability, which I understand is definitely extremely important (it’s the lucrative part of the industry); however the art aspect should not be lost in the process. At the end of the day we are not only fulfilling a utilitarian function, we are extracting the unique remnants of an artist’s imagination that marks the current movements and influences of our culture. We are creating something that should spark curiosity.
RH: What skills do you need to be a fashion designer?
AS: Patience, technique, dedication, perseverance, thick skin, and creativity with an understanding of wear ability. I also think that in order to be a designer you should have the knowledge of how to construct a garment from scratch. You should know the process that begins with the idea in your mind to the finished product that is ready for a client to wear.
RH: Do you design clothes for certain types of women?
AS: When I design, I have powerful, confident women in mind. She is comfortable with taking risks in life and with her personal style.
RH: What makes a woman memorable?
AS: A woman who is in full control of her style; when she actually wears the garment instead of the garment wearing her.
RH: What is your favorite piece from your collections that you are most proud of? Why?
AS: This intricate lace evening gown made up of 67 yards of fabric that I ruffled from the waist down. It’s definitely one of my favorite pieces because of the amount of time I spent to get it done, in addition to how happy I was with the final result.
RH: Do you have admiration for any famous designer(s)? Why?
AS: Always and forever the work of McQueen will always be the ultimate definition of wearable art in my eyes … and so many of the big houses I love. I have followed the work of Gaultier and Galliano since I was 15 or 16. I think one of the most amazing and inspirational is Thierry Mugler. I was and still am fascinated with the way that he would transform women and a woman’s silhouette.
RH: Outside of fashion, what are you looking forward to? And what is your career objective?
AS: I’m very much looking forward to my upcoming trip to France this September. I love traveling and enjoy experiencing the culture in other countries.
RH: Any new or upcoming project(s) your are working on that you’d like to share with us?
AS: I’m happy to say that I will be showing and having a runway presentation in N.Y. this upcoming September; details should be announced soon. The trailer to my first film that I styled and custom created for will be out this summer. For the time being this is all I can really say as the rest is still in the development phase but believe me when I tell you that there is so much more to come.
RH: Are there any thoughts or anything else you would like to say?
AS: “The beauty of fashion is that, unlike a painting on a wall, fashion is wearable art that can be displayed anywhere you like”.
PS: All images here are used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the designer.