Endowed with exceptional talent, three distinct fashion lines and a bright vision for the future, designer Edwing D’Angelo is indeed poised for greatness. After first exploring a career in law, D’Angelo burst onto the fashion scene in 2002 with the opening of his NYC boutique and he hasn’t looked back since. He’s gone on to dress some of the most elite names in entertainment and his work was featured in the fashionista cult film, The Devil Wears Prada. Fast forward to fashion week Spring 2009 — Edwing’s “Aquatica” runway show was an absolute must see with its beautiful array of brown models strutting in flawlessly executed snow white designs. We chatted with the him about the meaning behind the stunning collection, the season’s must haves and following your dreams.
Clutch:Your Spring collection featured a strikingly simplistic white washed color palette and all ethnic models. What message or theme were you channeling through your presentation?
Edwing D’Angelo: My last collection Aquatica Spring 2009, had two messages: First, the all-white was inspired in our planet in peril with the poles melting in front of our very own eyes and we are in huge part responsible for it. The white exemplifies the sculptures left by the ice as it melts. That’s what the clothing is very structured and minimalistic. Second, the whole black model cast was in homage to our now president, Barack Obama, for his accomplishments and for breaking barriers and being a trailblazer, which is much needed in the modeling industry,which seems as if black models don’t exist or they are only good for certain type of expose.
Clutch: What pieces from your latest collection do you feel like every woman needs in her closet?
Edwing D’Angelo: I definitely feel that they should have the whole collection (LOL), but if I have to pick up I would like to choose my classic white with pleated bottom and the black details on the side. Look number 20, on the website.
Clutch: Although you come from a long line of Colombian tailors and seamstresses, but you didn’t initially turn to a career in fashion. What made you decide to take the leap from lawyer to fashion designer?
Edwing D’Angelo: I knew that I needed a career with zest for life. That law thing was strictly family pressure I was almost forced to follow that path because my parents thought that I had enough brain to take the family to the next level, but at one point I was very unhappy and disappointed with that career and I made a conscious decision to follow my dreams despite the fact that it caused an internal war with my parents. And here I am today…
Clutch: Can you offer any words of wisdom for others who may be contemplating leaving their 9-5 jobs in order to follow their passion?
Edwing D’Angelo: Mon frere! Create yourself a top of the line business plan and prepare yourself as well as you can in all aspects of business, live way below your means and save to launch yourself and open up to your dreams. Education within your dream career is key.
Clutch:What role has your heritage played in influencing your design aesthetic?
Edwing D’Angelo: Everything I am is due to my heritage without it I will not have the foundation and the desire to move forward every day, I feel sometimes that my ethos speak to my senses to draw and create and come up with concepts and ideas that make people wow… You need to know where you coming from to know where you going to, it is a cliché, but it’s very true.
Clutch: Designers often cite everyday life or their immediate surroundings as sources of inspiration. Where do you usually find creative insight?
Edwing D’Angelo: I usually get it from my surroundings and traveling. I can get inspired from a curtain that I saw in Venice, or storm that I saw in Bogota, or the sunset in Puerto Plata, or a beautiful girl walking down on Broadway in SoHo with a killer walk, looking at all pictures of gentlemen during the Harlem Renaissance, it comes from everywhere.
Clutch: With several well received collections under your belt and your designs being in such high demand, do you feel like you’ve achieved what you set out to do in your career?
Edwing D’Angelo: Absolutely not, I don’t kid myself, I know I still have a lot to prove within the industry, I still have a lot work before I can rest on my laurels. But that’s the beauty of this challenge, it keeps you relevant, on your toes, and always searching for that ultimate moment in one’s
career which at the end is what makes the legends who they are, the proof is in the struggle itself.
Clutch:What direction do you see the brand headed in the future?
Edwing D’Angelo: I see the brand heading into bright future by expanding an international retail presence, showcasing our collection of shoes, accessories, underwear and my all time favorite fragrances and beauty products.
For more information on Edwing D’Angelo please visit www.edwingdangelo.com.