Meet our new Instructor, Art Veloira!
He will be teaching SXF 218 How to Design and Merchandise an Accessory Line, starting October 30, 2014!
So, tell us a little about yourself…
I moved to New York in the summer of ’96, and immediately found a job in a costume jewelry company. For the last 18 years, wherever I lived and live, worked and work, I always walked the block of 39th Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues, five days a week. To this day, I would sometimes still stop and think how lucky I am to be working in the famed Garment District. The excitement goes on after so many years, without cease.
As a designer in a private label design and manufacturing facility, I’ve had the most rewarding experience of working with many famous labels and talented designers, including Peter Som, Zac Posen, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Lela Rose, Isaac Mizrahi, and Doncaster Collection. This training has sharpened my skills as a designer and artisan with a unique perspective, and that is the ability to interpret, understand, and even get excited by an aesthetic that is not my own, as my prime objective is to deliver a piece–if not a collection–worthy of the customer’s label or name.
Was there a project or accomplishment that you consider to be significant in your career?
I consider that during the end of every major market season, Spring market in September and Fall market in February, is an accomplishment simply for having survived it, since I cater to the runway needs of a few designers during NY fashion week, and since accessories are oftentimes the last to be developed, I always worked with a challenging and tight deadline. Remember, I don’t work with just one or two designers at a time! I’m sure many designers would agree with me that talent and sense of style is a given, but stamina is another outfit we must put on every day, to make it in this industry.
But my very first taste of the garment district is what I consider most significant, in relation to my career as a designer. It was the searing summer of 1993, and to support my short stay in NYC as a struggling visual artist, I accepted a job as a delivery person to a dear friend who makes garment samples for a few clothing designers in the area. My afternoons were spent carrying multiple garment and shopping bags, schlepping them from Woodside to midtown, after a morning of ironing the freshly-sewn garments I was going to deliver. No blood, but sweat and tears, yes. But this experience opened me to the idea of possibly, one day, a career in fashion might be a nice idea?
What is exciting in the accessories market right now?
Since I work closely with different types of manufacturers, I hear more often now that there seems to be a boost in interest in manufacturing locally. This means that many designers will be more comfortable producing, since MOQ’s here are relatively not as high as any given factory in China. That to me is very exciting.
Can you give us a sneak peek of what your class will be like?
Other classes seem to have been attended by enthusiastic professionals who are mostly not in the fashion industry yet. I would expect this class to be the same, and by experience, I see that it’s not about trying to find inspiration in designing a collection, but rather, many students battle with the fact that they have too many ideas! My class will be about trimming and editing these ideas, culminating with a concept for a collection that is cohesive, impactful, and relevant. Lots of talk, visuals, and interaction!
Thank you and we look forward to your class!
To register for this class, please visit fitnyc.edu/noncreditregister