Carlos Garciavelez Wins The Daily x Samsung’s Up Next Contest

by Kristen Heinzinger

The chicsters have spoken: After an intense competition garnering thousands of online votes, Carlos Garciavelez is the winner of The Daily x Samsung’s Up Next contest, which featured an inside look at the creative processes of nine emerging menswear designers. Meet the architect-turned-Harvard-prodigy-turned-designer of Garciavelez!

Congrats on the cover! What were you doing when you found out you won Up Next?
I was at home keeping my eye on my e-mails. I was super excited to find out I had won, and tried to go to bed right after…since we had an early call time for the cover shoot the next morning!

What was it like shooting with mod Francisco “Chico” Lachowski?
He’s a great guy—very accomplished for such a young age—and has such great energy! The shoot was so fun, more fun than most. Chico and I were laughing while trying to balance on the slippery floor.

Any favorite looks from this collection?
The rain jackets we selected for this shoot are my favorite. They encapsulate the overall story of the collection.

How did you find yourself in fashion?
I went to RISD, and I became an architect, but I was interested in fashion even then. I thought architecture was a good foundation. I practiced architecture for about three years. I went to grad school at Harvard, where I teach urban design. In the interim, I interned at McQueen, and that was when I decided that I wanted to push forward. I launched Garciavelez two years ago.

Why did you want to launch your own label?
I have this incredible possibility to teach and design at the same time. This season, I was able to work in tandem with the CFDA and Harvard on a project. That was the first time they all intertwined. It’s my day job, if you want to call it that. I’ve been doing this since I graduated.

When did you officially switch gears?
When I finished at Harvard, I got a fellowship and they funded my research. I flew all over the world, mostly in Latin America. The whole line came from this idea of exploration. It’s about the explorer, but we apply it to the every day. So in terms of clothing, the hoodie is an essential—you can sleep on the plane or you can dress it up.

How does architecture inform your designs?
In the construction details, like how things are layered and move. We started with more tailoring, and we’ve become more loose and comfortable. It began with the idea of this cultural nomad—a guy who works and wears the same clothes from morning to night. It revolves around flexibility and activity—everything has stretch.

What was the design concept for the Fall ’17 collection?
Every season, there’s an ephemeral quality. Last season, it was the idea of decay. For this collection, it was more about finding beauty, the idea of rebuilding. It’s inspired by Gordon Matta-Clark. He was an installation artist who would take pieces of existing buildings or infrastructure and cut through them, taking pieces out and out of context. So it’s a lot about geometry—we have prints, and it’s the first time they’ve become part of the set.

What did building the set entail?
Our set was built completely by hand using masking tape, so it was a huge undertaking. The backdrop was 45 feet by 10 feet. I’m really pleased about the final product, and everyone seemed to love the collection. That’s always the best part!

How did you use the Samsung tools during the presentation?
I didn’t realize how fun all that gear is! We used it to make a time-lapse video of the set being assembled and got some really incredible shots with the Samsung 360 camera.

Who are you designing for?
Ideally, a creative person, but it’s more about the idea of the everyday guy who has a really intense workload and has to perform the whole day. We call it “constructed comfort.”

What was on your inspiration board for Fall?
We have Freaks and Geeks, the misunderstood, socially, but the creative. We also looked at Steve Jobs and this idea of a start-up in the garage. These ideas physically transcend into what they wear.

Where to next?
I’ll start working on the S/S18 Collection soon and prepare to teach my architecture course at Harvard next semester. I am also in the process of renovating my apartment. Soon will come the fun part—decorating! Lots of projects for spring and summer.

Now that it’s all over, how will you celebrate?
I’m going to the beach for a few days to recharge! I can’t wait to just lay in the sun and do nothing for a few days. The fashion roller coaster starts up again in a few weeks.

Read the issue HERE.

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