The main of Elena Velez’s brand is in the loved ones-operate workshops and interesting waters of Wisconsin. Her intimate dresses, in matte creams and sheer blacks, distinction with the sharp grittiness of the metal bars she molds into corsets and bra tops. It is raw, industrial design at its most sensual, and a fresh Midwestern expression in America’s New York- and Los Angeles-centric manner scene. And nevertheless, the designer—who debuted at New York Style Week just previous fall—has ironically, while understandably, grow to be a Hollywood darling.

Final thirty day period, reggaetón singer Rosalía wore a sheer white glance of woven PVC filament from Velez’s “Vessel” selection even though filming a video for her album Motomami, and she was in head-to-toe Elena Velez for her “Hentai” tunes video clip, which debuted March 16. A single appear involved a tan leather corset built in Milwaukee—Velez’s dwelling city—out of deconstructed bits from a welding apron.

model styled by joe van o in elena velez

Tre Crews

“In all honesty, the stardust chase can guide to a quite cynical place, so I consider to maintain out of it,” Velez tells BAZAAR.com. Possessing stated that, the designer admits, “Rosalía has been a manifestation yrs in the producing.”

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Rosalía’s stylist, Caitlyn Martinez, was in the depths of her Instagram Check out rabbit hole when she arrived throughout Velez. “It is an intuition,” Martinez says of acquiring the up coming designer to obsess around. “It is like obtaining a portray for a particular place in your crib. You just know when it suits and contributes to the entire vision. Her designs in good shape the course of the video clip so nicely.”

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Velez has also manufactured looks for Kali Uchis, Grimes, Charli XCX, Arca, Kim Petras, Tinashe, Rico Terrible, and Caroline Polachek. Solange Knowles wore Velez’s metal rebar bodice for a shoot with Numéro Berlin, Jane the Virgin actress Diane Guerrero wore a PVC topless harness from her Homecoming capsule collection “for no damn explanation,” the designer claims.

model styled by joe van o in elena velez

Tre Crews

Creating large-fashion from scraps is Velez’s specialty. The designer requires inspiration from her childhood, which she put in aboard industrial ships, traveling throughout the Wonderful Lakes with her captain mom. It’s why she usually utilizes products such as ship sails, rope from boats, and discarded metal in her items. It is why she stains her ivory dresses with grime and brown tea water, and why her layouts, while always sensitive and female, reference the design web sites and producing vegetation that very first shaped her concept of womanhood.

It can be a deconstructed, anti-splendor approach to beautiful fashion, equivalent to what we saw in Rick Owens’s smoke-crammed drop 2022 clearly show, or in Yohji Yamamoto’s perfectly chaotic tumble ready-to-put on assortment.

model styled by joe van o in elena velez

Tre Crews

At her second clearly show, which took area at the Freehand Lodge all through New York’s slide 2022 time in February, Velez debuted a person of her most technical tasks to date: the Morph Epoch Boot, produced in collaboration with Aion Prosthetics, a Midwest-based enterprise that specializes in equipment and robotics. The group, who achieved Velez in a collaborator studio she’s been hosting seasonally for the previous yr, tells BAZAAR that the shoe, which seems a bit like an astronaut boot, was a “principle piece made to totally enclose the wearer” and to introduce “major industrial production into the fashion industry.” Crafted out of PETG, a plastic-like substance, each and every experienced to be bolted about the foot using bespoke bolts and Milwaukee Resource drills.

model in elena velez

Elena Velez

“The premise powering [the boot] is to provide a pipeline to the industry for nontraditional makers exterior of the creative coasts,” Velez claims. “Disassembling the geographical condescension that has inhibited my alternatives as an artist in the midwest is a mission near to my heart.”

In fact, for each individual one of her collections and drops, she has involved reasonably not known artists, frequently from her city, and highlighted the partnerships as the welding of two equivalent visions, rather than a star and her components. A single of her longest collaborations has been with Nelson Kies, a Milwaukee steel worker who, immediately after operating with Velez, launched his personal jewellery brand: Nels Studio. And extra not too long ago, she labored with genderless footwear designer Kira Goodey, whose sculptural, metallic get on a system heel manufactured it into Velez’s tumble 2022 runway show. The shoe was a real echo of Velez’s very own variation of feminism, pushed by both equally background and fantasy, earth and the divine.

model styled by joe van o in elena velez

Tre Crews

Velez is much more comfy speaking about these collaborations that her the latest results. “Community response, as far as I’m knowledgeable, has been overwhelmingly positive, which is no fun,” she tells BAZAAR. “I am often appreciative of some of these really-discerning editors who overlook some of the (personally) evident snafus that come with a fledgling model. I think it suggests they see a upcoming in serving to me construct the type of procedure that will a person day find the money for me the ability to generate at the good quality we all demand from customers.”

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Tre Crews

When her company has unquestionably expanded considering the fact that I fulfilled her practically 5 several years ago, when she was a 1-guy exhibit, planning, sourcing components, liaising with reps, and producing each one glimpse herself, she has now set her sights on a new way of manufacturing. Presently, she creates the total notion appears to be of each individual collection herself, which are then put with each other in the a variety of little New York Metropolis ateliers she operates with. “The growth is remarkable, but usually comes at a selling price when you are relying on other people to materialize a quite delicate private vision,” she suggests.

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Tre Crews

She desires of launching a sample growth manufacturing facility in Milwaukee, in which she can “definitely celebrate the expertise of reliable craftsmanship in a way that I have in no way been able to obtain elsewhere.”

American manner is screaming for attention, here is hoping the Midwest eventually gets a say.


Elena Velez Calendar year 1: photographs by Tre Crews styling by Joe Van O make-up by Maite Moreira accessories by Carolin Dieler.

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