Style Minds

Meet a carefully curated selection of Miami fashion designers ready to have you looking your best from head-to-toe this season and beyond with collections that will make jaws drop and eyes flutter.
Interviews by Estrellita S. Sibila Selected by Jhon Jairo Santos Photos courtesy of respective designers | May 17, 2018 | People

Ivana Berendika
Arme De L’Amour

Q: How would you describe your
latest collection?
A: “The Kiss Collection reinterprets pieces from Arme De L’Amour’s classic collection in a fresh and feminine way. The stripe has been one of my signatures since the brand’s inception in 2013 and is featured prominently throughout the season’s collection. My favorite pieces are the Stripe Ring and Stripe Bracelet. Both are offered in gold, silver and rose gold.”

Q: What sets you apart from other designers?
A: “I’ve always been drawn to stripes and geometric shapes. It’s what my customer wants. The Arme De L’Amour woman wants simple yet elegant jewelry to complement her outfit; pieces that she can wear from day-to-night and not have to worry about changing. For me, ‘Kiss’ is an extension of my previous collections, providing women with new pieces that can mix-and-match or stack well with pieces she already owns.”

Q: What’s trending for the season in Miami?
A: “In Miami, the weather is always warm so women are able to show off their neckline year-round. Our chokers are very popular amongst our Miami-based customers and we have introduced new styles that we hope to be the statement pieces of the season.”

Q: Best lesson learned as a designer?
A: “I’ve learned that it’s very important to always have faith in yourself and to be kind to others.”

Photo by Anibal Mestre Wong

Rubén de Abreu
Deabreu Italy

Q: How would you describe your latest collection?
A: “This collection is born from the simplicity of the line and from the pure geometry of classic forms. The experience I’ve gained throughout the years as a designer combined with a natural sensibility for the male fashion industry, always marked by my focal point as an architect, inspires each of my designs. I feel a fascination for materials and unique and innovative design with a strong architectural inspiration.”

Q: What sets you apart from other designers?
A: “At this time, I’ve chosen to focus on leather as the main material. The appearance of each Deabreu leather bag evolves following a personalized and continuous use without losing the form and elegance that characterizes it. I think it’s like re-evaluating a material that becomes meaningful to its user; it’s a noble material wrapped in an original and timeless design.”

Q: What’s trending for the season in Miami?
A: “Miami will certainly see subtle rock & rebels looks emerge from the neo-‘70s, one of the main themes this season. Also, from the men’s catwalks, shine fabric declined in silk shirts and light bombers will also be a strong trend in Miami. Following the spring seasons, hems keep loosening up. After a decade of skinny, baggy trousers are now part of the new silhouette, as is oversized in general. And last but not least, leather pants are also musts.”

Q: Best lesson you’ve learned as a designer?
A: “As a designer, there are always new things to discover, to create or to improve upon and this goes hand-in-hand with innovation and technology. It’s important to constantly investigate intuitions and concepts. I’m pretty spontaneous, I don’t strictly follow the trend studies. I recommend letting the imagination take over since there are no formulas in design. Freedom is necessary to develop a personal style and explore things that inspire us.”

Portrait by Bacheler Jean Pierre

Fabrice Tardieu
Fabrice Tardieu: Meticulously Handcrafted

Q: How would you describe your latest collection?
A: “It’s fun, playful, rich in texture and bold colors. Every piece has been meticulously handcrafted in Italy. Some of the styles such as our Stan Sneaker in red or grey are numbered. Only 100 pieces are made of each color to keep them exclusive and rare. It’s the true definition of a laid-back luxury product.”

Q: What sets you apart from other designers?
A: “I set myself apart by designing products that have unique details and over-the-top craftsmanship. I always make sure to design a collection that’s relevant to today’s fashion while remaining simple enough that anybody could wear it. In today’s world, things have been very dark and negative with everything that has been going on. I use bold colors on soles and leathers in order to bring an element of happiness to whomever is wearing the brand.”

Q: What’s trending for the season
in Miami?
A: “I see a major trend toward the Chelsea boot style. Our Hugo Sneaker, one of our signature shoes, is the perfect example of that trend. They are constantly being sold out around the world and online and people are asking for it in all different skins and colors now.”

Q: Best lesson you’ve learned as a designer?
A: “When you are not motivated by money and do things out of love and passion, you can never fail at what you do. I believe in the saying that ‘passion moves mountains’.”

Portrait by Claudio Napolitano

Oscar Carvallo
Oscar Carvallo Paris

Q: How would you describe your latest collection?
A: “Electric Blossom features futuristic technology mixed with the evolution of human feelings, and how this has melded together with sentiments and emotions. The evolution is global. The collection is made of silk and technical fabrics with metal flowers. The feminine “bustier” is made with technical elastic ribbons combined with luxury brocades that yields a classical look that’s elegant with a futuristic twist of modernity.”

Q: What sets you apart from other designers?
A: “My experience as a designer has been fantastic, I’ve been between Caracas, Milan and Paris for 15 years. A Carvallo woman is a mix of many cultures: the sensuality and the happiness of the Latin Americans; the design and the concepts of the Italians; and the simplicity and elegance of French culture. I think the most important quality as a fashion designer is to be unique and Carvallo doesn’t look like anybody else, it has a unique and particular universe and its own personality.”

Q: What’s trending for the season in Miami?
A: “I would have to say it’s ‘The Carvallo Rouge.’ We propose couture and ready-to-wear in deep-red, always combined with a metal texture which is part of the DNA of our brand. The shapes we propose are very fluid fabrics, with our distinctive prints and light dresses, with a lot of movement always showing the figure but in a very elegant way, nothing extremely tight. We are also working with the purity of white that brings a unique elegance, combined with metal mirror textures to create a futuristic and nostalgic vision.”

Q: Best lesson learned as a designer?
A: “The most important lesson I’ve learned is not to be afraid of the world and people, and to always believe in yourself. It’s very important to travel and live in different countries and immerse yourself in various cultures — this is the biggest inspiration we can find. Time passes too fast and we must start the dream project we have today, never tomorrow.”

Portrait photo by Karla Garcia

Stefani De La O
The Nomadic Collector

Q: How would you describe your latest collection?
A: “The Nomadic Collector does not produce collections nor does it follow traditional delivery schedules. We have instead decided to create a heritage brand, creating timeless season’s pieces.”

Q: What sets you apart from other designers?
A: “Our mission is to create the world’s first sustainable luxury brand. In order to accomplish this, we must use materials indigenous to the area of manufacture. In Costa Rica, our artisanal craft is found in the use of wood and vegetable-tanned leather. Using specific materials with set techniques of production results in innovative methods of implementation. So while we designed a leather bucket bag, a traditional design, our employees utilized methods for weaving wood used in furniture building.”

Q: What’s trending for the season in Miami?
A: “By nature, I don’t follow trends because they endemically oppose sustainability. I hope to see sustainable views become a trend as they result in timeless purchases and that’s always elegant.”

Q: Best lesson learned as a designer?
A: “I’ve studied or worked in every aspect of design from buildings to furniture and jewelry, you name it…and it’s wonderful to create beautiful things but it’s rewarding when you design to solve problems — yes, even those in fashion. The implicit promise in luxury is that you need not worry about a thing; it’s all flawlessly taken care of. Yet, interestingly, an unsustainable piece of clothing or jewelry is anything but flawless. It’s wonderful when that bag of desire doesn’t harm the planet or the hands that made it, and actually has a positive impact on the environment and society. That’s true luxury.”