Miami born and raised, designer Elle Barbeito moved to New York to pursue a career in the fashion industry. Barbeito's collections Tell powerful story, combining beautiful pieces with social consciousness. Integrating influences from both Miami and New York, the designer creates a unique intersection of industrial and playful vibes.
How did you become involved in fashion design? Ever since I was young I had always been very involved in art, and was always really interested in fashion. I have my mom to thank for my love of fashion and glamour, I got a lot of my taste from her. I really fell in love with fashion design when I found artists and designers who showed me that fashion was way more than just making clothes, it was a form of art. I knew it was what I wanted to do when I realized that you could merge the two.
What materials do you most like to work with? I feel that I'm pretty straightforward and not too experimental with my textiles, so I kind of like to stick with familiar materials. I've worked the most with denim, and find that the final product always leaves me very satisfied. There’s something about the way denim maintains its structure but still manages to hang so nicely that I just really love. I also really love the way it frays. I've recently learned and gotten really into using the knitting machine too, and have used it to produce my own knits.
How does your geographical location influence your atheistic? As of two years ago I started spending most of my year in New York, but I was born and raised in Miami. Miami and New York are very different, and I feel their influences read through my designs in their own ways, and I like to think they merge well. I'm very proud of my roots and where I'm from, so I really aim to keep those influences relevant through my every day life as well as my work. My designs incorporate this original edgy attitude that I feel is found in suburban areas like the one I grew up in. Living in New York and experiencing its level of industrialism has heavily influenced my color choices and my appreciation for elongated silhouettes. It's added a sense of seriousness to my designs, but not too serious. I really like to try to keep it fun.
What’s been your greatest professional achievement to date? Being able to move to New York at 18 to start working on achieving my goals and dreams, which is something I had waited a really long time to do. Unfortunately, Miami is not the place to pursue a career in fashion, so I had to wait until I moved to New York to really get started.
What’s one thing people would never guess about you? I used to be a competitive cheerleader. My love for glitter might possibly be rooted from that.
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