27 Apr Red Carpet’s Best Kept Secret
Why are you a fashion designer?
In many ways, fashion is in my blood. My father’s family is from Guatemala where my grandfather owned a clothing company. My father then grew up learning fashion as the family business and brought that knowledge with him when he emigrated to America and passed it down to me. He really nurtured my interest in fashion. Growing up I was always trying new things like acting, sports, singing and music, but something about fashion made me feel as if I had found the missing piece of my soul I was searching for that whole time. Although we didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, I was always creating in my mind beautiful, glamorous clothing. Since I couldn’t buy them for myself, I resolved to create them for those that can. So when I was 13, I designed my first gown and I haven’t looked back since. I can’t imagine how floored my 13-year-old self would be to find out that my designs are now on the red carpet.
What drives your passion for fashion?
Through all of the complex transitions in my life, fashion has been the one constant. What keeps me passionate is that through it, I have the ability to create a tangible alternate reality. The possibilities are unlimited. For example, through fashion you can become vulnerable or become shielded and unapproachable. It can make you feel aspirational or like a work of art.
Who are your fashion idols?
My list is so long I could go on for days! There are so many who have pioneered and changed how the industry is, and was. Designers contribute in so many different ways. There’s Karl Lagerfeld with infinite creativity that is continually evolving, Hurbert de Givenchy who has created timeless, fashion pieces that transcend trendiness, – or Tom Ford who is a marketing genius, and whose impact extends beyond his own lines to other designers he’s helped launch. In addition to those that create the clothes, I really admire the people who know how to put those clothes together to create the dream and glamour – like Patricia Fields. I’m completely obsessed with the impeccable style of Daphne Guinness and Margarita Missoni. They are both so effortlessly chic, and embody the whole concept
What are your long term plans?
My long term plan is to become an internationally recognizable lifestyle brand, known for timeless quality goods.
Who have you designed for?
My designs have been worn on the red carpet by people including Paula Abdul at the Emmys, and Lucy Alibar at the Oscars. In fashion editorials by Stana Katic, as well as many others in high-end wedding design and fashion shows. I have also worked with Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani, Victoria Beckham and fashion houses Gianfranco Ferré, Oscar de la Renta and Escada. Ha ha! It can get hectic at times, but I love it!
Who inspired you to be a designer?
I remember as a child, coming into the living room and watching my dad extend giant cathedral bridal gowns he had created for brides. My eyes would fill with light and awe that my father had made this. He is the reason I design. Having that creativity, encouragement, and magic in my house growing up, how could I not be inspired? He, and Alexander McQueen, of course. In my teenage years before McQueen was trendy, my DNA changed once his work helped me understand that clothes weren’t just a necessity, but could be a beautiful art piece that moved and moved you.
Instagram: officialSYA Twitter: @SYAatelier