Instructor Spotlight: Daniel DeMatteo

Photo by Marta Regulski

Our dreams and true destinies are within reach when we have the courage to embrace them. Dan’s innate creativity and compelling individualism were overshadowed by hard times that lasted through his adolescence. He lost sight of his destino vero — or true destiny.

One day as he walked by the Fashion Institute of Technology, he caught a glimpse of the destiny before him, it was time to embrace his greatest skills. After creating a design portfolio in one night, FIT found his work so compelling they offered him a space in their Menswear Design program. Despite no previous apparel experience, he quickly moved to the top of his class and was hired by Nicole Miller while still attending the Fashion Institute of Technology.
For over 20 years, Dan made his way through every corner of the fashion industry — and the globe. He conquered design, merchandising, sourcing and beyond for marquee brands and boutiques alike while learning from their successes and failures. Then after years of incubation, Dan launched his own clothing company and brand, Destino Vero, in 2012.

Daniel DeMatteo Teaches:
HMW 157 Intro to menswear Sewing 

Teaching Philosophy:
I take great pride in teaching the next generation of designers, tastemakers and creatives. In my class I focus on the importance of sharpening the students’ skills, leading by example, encouraging a strong work ethic while infusing a sharp attention to detail.  I provide my students with a unique, “on the job experience,”  that parallels the fashion industry’s demands and helps to ensure future success. I have always said, “Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking. Quality is a parallel to integrity, especially in fashion.”

Industry Experience:

  • In 2012, Dan launched his own clothing company and brand, Destino Vero
  • GQ Magazine-Bombay Sapphire exhibition, “New Designer of the Year” award ceremony
  • Day for Night exhibition, Menswear design award
  • Italian Trade Commission Exhibition award, Daniel was sent to study and work in Prato, Italy
  • FIT Outstanding Menswear Student Achievement Award, Daniel was sent to study in Paris, France

Work by Daniel DeMatteo:


 

Until We Meet Again

Hello for the last time!

I know it’s sad, but Precollege classes have come to an end. It has been an absolute pleasure blogging for all of you. I am thrilled that I could take another FIT Precollege class as well as blog this year. I learned so much and had a blast!

My last day was dedicated to finishing up the men’s shirts we’d been working on all semester and celebrating our achievements. After all these weeks, I have a newfound appreciation for the work that goes into making a dress shirt.

I am proud of the shirt I made. Bright yellow isn’t a color I normally wear, but I put so much time into making this garment that I feel obliged to wear it at some point. I may also just give it to someone who is more likely to wear it. I spent my last half hour sewing colorful buttons, which I found at Mood Fabrics, up the front and on the cuffs. I was also very excited to use a special sewing machine for the buttonholes. Everything is so much easier when one has the appropriate tools and supplies!

Although we all made the same size shirt, every student chose their own fabric. This meant that every shirt was unique. Some people made long-sleeved versions and others made short-sleeved shirts. Everyone used different patterned and colored fabrics. I like that we were allowed this creative freedom.

I feel like a much stronger sewer after taking this menswear sewing class. I’ve also been reminded, as I always am, that it’s best to measure twice and cut once. I could have saved myself a lot of frustration.

Well, I hope you had as much fun taking classes as I did. A new set of Precollege classes and workshops are just around the corner.

I will miss FIT next year, but I hope to stay in contact with its wonderful community.

Happy creating!

– Ella