NYFWM: 4 Questions with Carlos Garciavelez

Courtesy Garciavelez

Our special New York Men’s Fashion Week contributor Eric Rutherford spoke to the 31-year-old architect and designer just before his show today.

Carlos Garciavelez, the designer behind new menswear label GARCIAVELEZ, was born into a family of architects in Mexico City. After receiving a Masters of Architecture from Harvard, his interest in design lead him to investigate how modernism arrived in Latin America; this research was published in his first book, Form & Pedagogy: The Design of the University City in Latin America. As his sense of design developed, he realized he was inspired by both architecture and fashion and launched his label this year. In addition to working round the clock the last months to ready his second runway presentation, which was shown today, Garciavelez commutes to Boston twice a week to teach at Harvard School of Design. 

You teach twenty-year-olds twice a week. What kind of inspiration are you getting from your students?

I enjoy hearing each students' perspective on design or problem solving because all are so personal and derive from their family relationships, friendships, hardships and overall approach to daily life. If they grew up in a city or the suburbs, they see design with different spatial challenges. It influences their sense of scale whether it be the intimacy of the body to the clothes or how buildings interact with one another. 

Your collections have had themes such as “Cultural Nomad” while today’s, your second, focused on light and how it’s revealed in its many hues and layers. Given your background, I have to ask if you consider yourself a nomad?  

Yes, I do! Beginning with my upbringing, I have always considered myself a nomad. A nomad is a seeker, someone who is constantly searching for answers to questions. It is someone who wants more than their daily life and will jump on a plane to discover a brand new restaurant or visit a spectacular new museum. Every time I board the plane to teach in Boston, I peer out the window to see the sun rise across the horizon and it encourages me.

You seem to live on planes and trains. What three items are always in your carry on?

My Nike Fly Knit sneakers. They are extremely comfortable and come in so many different colors. My Nikon. I learned to take pictures with one so there is a history this brand. It produces fantastic images, easy to use, and always reliable. And a Moleskine notebook. The classic tool of architects.

What were your cultural influences for this collection?

Alexander McQueen is a large influence in my designs. I interned for his company after he died, and I was exposed to the deep, layered meanings and stories he imbued each piece with through out his collections. McQueen valued the details to the story as much as the making of the garment. Every piece of clothing always had a perspective and a purpose. I design the same. Donald Judd and James Turrell, both of whom play with light and perspective in their artistic expression, were also very impactful in my designs this season with their use of light and manipulation.