Take a look at emerging designer, Viktor Luna's collection in this magazine.
First, tell us the Viktor Luna story: where did you begin, when have you felt like you've been at your best and where do you want to be?
My interest in sewing began when I was little boy. My mother is a seamstress, and I would always watch her do fittings for women and make clothes for me. My mother would cut the fabric and I would sew it to complete what I wanted. After I took some courses at FIT and interned at Zero Maria Cornejo, I learned a lot about how to create and run a business. Where I am now with a full collection is very satisfying...It makes me excited to keep going and continue this never ending craft. It only gets better and better as you find yourself as a designer. Have you ever had a moment where you felt like you just couldn't do it anymore? How did you move past that to keep creating?
Yes. There was a moment in the beginning that I thought to my self "There is to much competition" or "Will I ever be a great designer"? It really was a struggle, but I finally realized that I had to satisfy my self only, and I stopped worrying about what other people think. I really felt like a saw a new light when I realized that the key to success is to do what you want in your heart and be happy, not to compete for fame or fortune. So, I changed my attitude and started creating garments that I thought were fun and crazy and artistic. That's what I really want, the "wow" factor...not the "who is going to buy it".
I'm struck by the way you layer to create really strong senses of volume, what inspires this? What do you want us to feel by seeing these pieces? When I work at showrooms or when I interned at Zero, I realized that they had a lot of separate pieces! I learned that by creating separates and layering you have a bigger selection that can be added to your wardrobe, or layer it all to make it stronger and richer. I want people to have a reaction to what they see. That's what makes me feel good as a designer. Then I know that I accomplished something. More broadly, tell us about your design process. How do you begin your search for inspiration?
I usually start with my daily life. I am always looking at different types of artists and places for inspiration. I also love fabrics and love to go and search for nice fabrics that are structural and different. After I get a concept I go crazy looking all over for things that would work to create a cohesive story. One of my biggest inspirations is from the hardware store. I usually like to incorporate materials that are not necessarily made for garments and bring that raw edge to the collection. Tell us about the Viktor Luna woman: what does she represent to you and how do you want her to be percieved? The Viktor Luna woman is a very fun and edgy lady. I try to dress the fashion forward thinking woman. I like to dress the woman of tomorrow, the woman who goes out and wants to be seen. I also have pieces that are tamer, but if you look close they are detailed and well done. I want her to be perceived as a woman who is comfortable with who she is and she is here to take charge of every moment! Do you have a favorite type of fabric, ribbon or some other pieces that you use? Is there a part of your design process that you have a particularly strong emotional connection to?
I love hard fabrics that when you sew them they stay in place. I like to use a lot of synthetic materials like net screens or boning, while adding the softest lining for comfort. I have a strong connection with neoprene. It's a fabric that is usually made for scuba diving and with that durability I like to make it into wearable garments that can resist any weather and keep you warm at the same time.
What are you working on now? Next? What project would you tackle if you had unlimited resources?
Iam working on a lot right now. I am reproducing a few pieces from S/S 2010 and at the same time working with a stylist and photographer and sketching for the next collection. I am excited and ready to get together the F/W 2010, which will be shown during February Fashion Week NYC. If I had unlimited resources I would create a bigger collection and show it in Paris Fashion week with a whole staff that would help me in making amazing clothing!
Photography by Mikey Pozarik with Styling by Inez Dawson. Interview by Kelsey Kreiling. Magazine layout and design by Tarra Kieckhaefer