Fashion is an art that calls many of its creatives. Somehow you just know that this is where your greatest passion lies. Founders of the fashion house, Luis Aponte, Luis Aponte and Melida Sanchez has proven that a perfect synergy creates great expression. Luis Aponte recently shared intimate details with SSD in an interview preceding their fashion showcase at FLL Fashion Week March 8 – 14, 2020.
SSD: How long have you been designing? How did you start?
LA: I began designing 8 years ago while I was living in my homeland of Puerto Rico. During my second year in Pharmacy School, after watching a full season of Project Runway everything changed for me and my curiosity was ignited. I felt compelled to sew myself some clothing, and that was when I felt I found my true calling. My path veered as I decided to change careers and follow my instinct to move to Miami in 2012. I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design and founded our company with my business partner Melida Sanchez, consecutively in 2014.
SSD: What Inspired you to become a designer?
LA: I always had a knack for creating things and I loved creating the most intricate Halloween costumes. I enjoy the creative process and being able to center my thoughts around an idea, like for example a movie or a place. My business partner Melida researches the trends and colors for the season to compliment my idea. The idea evolves into sketches, we proceed to mix and match the ideas until we have a cohesive story to tell. Every collection tells a story which is depicted by the prints, design elements, color scheme, fabric, to the final pictures and the feeling the collection evokes.
SSD: How have Miami Culture influenced your vision for your collections?
LA: The Miami vibe is everything to my collections, the colors of the city, the multifaceted cultures, the movement, and the warm weather are vital in inspiring my aesthetic as a brand.The aesthetic of the line is very playful with design details. We love integrating fun prints and textures into the collections. We implement sustainability by the printing process we use and source organic materials for production. We are a local company and we produce everything in house in our micro factory based in Miami.
SSD: Fashion Designers are often influenced by another designer. Would you say that is true about you?
LA: If so, what designer have influenced your creative vision. For me I found myself surrounded by inspiration every day. A lot of the brands ideas come from streetwear and my own interpretation of it. Some designers that I look up to are Chloe, Oscar de la Renta and Dior among others.
SSD: Describe the woman that would wear your clothing line:
LA: Our customer is a working professional that is feminine yet sexy chic who enjoys wearing a conversational piece. She loves our transitional items because she can seamlessly navigate from day to night events. She appreciates quality, comfort and High Fashion Ready-to-wear which we call “affordable couture.” The woman I design for is confident, classic, independent, trendsetting and well-traveled woman.
SSD: Describe your current collection. What colors, textures, fabrics, patterns for this season?
LA: Our new collection is a celebration of American Freedom which we materialize in this new collection dubbed “Urban American Chic”. We are so fortunate to be living in a nation that allows us to explore our multifaceted selves and experience the freedom of expression. This collection is paying homage to our freedom and liberty. We will be showcasing our original prints inspired by the Statue of Liberty and the roaring 20’s. The collection contains a colorful palette inspired by the pastel colors of Miami’s Art Deco architecture complimented by sheer chiffon fabrics, muted georgette fabric, cotton lace and intricate prints which sends a powerful message of appreciating our freedom.
SSD: One of the questions being asked to the industry is whether there “fashion weeks” should continue or not? What are your thoughts?
LA: Fashion Weeks are vital for designers to showcase our work and latest ideas. I believe the fashion industry has changed by producing fashion at a fast pace and Fashion Weeks are adapting by showcasing new available mini collections rather than showing future ones.
SSD: What do you love the most about participating in fashion week?
LA: I love the opportunity of expressing ourselves through our designs. Fashion week allows us to create a cohesive story on the runway by giving symbolism and meaning to our art