Emerging Designer Spotlight: Carmela
Take from the streets. Literally. That's what Carmela Osorio Lugo did for her denim-focused namesake line. Her first collection was inspired by New York City and Manhattan construction workers so to bring it full circle, she went straight to the source, paid workers cash for their jeans and began to deconstruct and design. The process began by draping to develop silhouettes and then bleaching, treating, patching and dying. The result was a collection of garments with organic sensibilities and ease. You'll see denim with raw edges, inside details exposed like hems, seams and zippers topped off with large stitches and screen printed stripes remniscent of crosswalks.
Softer pieces worked into the collection include easy-to-move in dresses made from a powermesh in black and grey along with a pleated high-waist skirt in Italian wool bonded with cashmere knit.
This take on denim and sourcing is part of the brand's philosophy. They also source from Goodwill and collaborated Nova Fiber, a sustainable fabric company in Miami.
She told us,
Denim will always be a part of our collections and we believe that denim is a fabric we can always create a new and interesting take on. However, we want to bring it to life to make it an essential piece of everyone's wardrobe. We believe in sustainable products and to be a socially responsible brand, we aim to reduce the amount of clothing sent to landfills by recycling denim.
The new designer has already gained solid experience and traction. While in school, she worked with Andre Leon Talley displaying his exhibit "Little Black Dress at the SCAD Museum of Art and was the recipient of the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Liz Claiborne scholarship for emerging designers while at Savannah College of Art & Design.
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