INTERVIEWS

Catch the New Wave
AVESSA takes the exclusive opportunity to chat with Cctavio Aguilar about Dope Tavio and his very anticipated participation in the upcoming season 19 of Project Runway premiering in October on Bravo.
FASHION EDITORIAL IMAGES
CREATIVE DIRECTOR & FASHION STYLIST: Octavio Aguilar (DOPE TAVIO) model: SHARAYA J make-up artist: Lutz Karpf HAIR STYLIST: Al X STYLING ASSISTANT: Juan Bentancourt photographer: FLÁVIO IRYODA photography assistant: ALFONSO DE HOYOS-ACOSTA PRODUCER: PEDRO GONZALEZ
YOU HAVE WORKED IN INTERIOR DESIGN, WHICH IS BOTH CREATIVE AND TECHNICAL, BEFORE RETURNING TO DESIGN YOUR OWN LINE, WHAT ASPECTS OF INTERIOR DESIGN HAVE YOU BROUGHT TO YOUR CLOTHES?
I actually worked in interior design for 7 years before I started designing Dope Tavio. Before that, I was the general manager at The Levi’s store in South Beach for 6 years. Both of these jobs have influenced some of the designs in my line, with interior design I get draping, prints, oversized proportions, and with Levi’s it brings in all the denim and the streetwear. It’s a great balance when merging the two together.
JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH: DOPE TAVIO LAME SHOCK FRONT DRESS, BILL BLASS VINTAGE JEANS, CHANEL FISHNETS STOCKINGS, DEVIOUS SCREAM PUMPS, VINTAGE EARRINGS, MAD AS HELL PEOPLE GLOVES.
I HAD A CHANCE TO SEE THAT YOU HAVE A SWEET AND VERY CLOSE FRIENDSHIP WITH YOUR MUSE SHARAYA J, IN FACT, SHE HELPED INTRODUCE DOPE TAVIO IN 2016, HOW DOES YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SHARAYA J IMPACT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
OMG Sharaya and I go way back, so there’s definitely trust in both our personal and creative processes. When working together we feed off of one another’s vibes, we are forward-thinking and we both like taking risk and we definitely know what looks good. I mainly get inspired by Sharaya’s music - her music takes me to another place while I’m creating in my studio. It’s always a new mood. It’s not until I’m done filling up a rolling rack of new pieces when I tell myself “Sharaya would look great in all of these”.
YOUR CLOTHES ARE GENDERLESS, ONE-OF-A-KIND PIECES THAT CAN BE DESCRIBED AS A GORGEOUS MIX OF HAUTE COUTURE AND HIP HOP FASHION, DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF MORE OF AN ARTIST CONCEPTUALIZING YOUR CREATIVITY, OR ARE YOU ALSO INTERESTING IN A WIDER COMMERCIAL AUDIENCE?
For now, I consider myself an artist making one-of-a-kind pieces but I definitely see it growing into a full brand.
DON’T YOU WANT ME: DOPE TAVIO LAME PROM FRONT DRESS, BILL BLASS VINTAGE JEANS, ADIDAS TUBE SOCKS, MAD AS HELL PEOPLE GLOVES, DEVIOUS DOMINA HEELS, DOOR KNOCKER EARRINGS, STYLISTS ARCHIVE TIARA.
YOU ONCE MENTIONED THAT WHEN YOU MOVED TO NEW YORK YOU HAD A TWO-YEAR BUSINESS PLAN WHICH INVOLVED A WHOLE NEW LEARNING EXPERIENCE BECAUSE YOU RAN INTO SO MANY DIFFERENT OBSTACLES, WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
I learned that being a new designer in a big city is nothing new unless you have something really different to offer. My pieces stood out and the word got around quickly. Additionally, I was learning how to manage a little brand all on my own and juggling everything from designing, social media, website, networking, photoshoots, models, the list goes on and on.
YOUR WORK HAS BEEN ENTHUSIASTICALLY SUPPORTED BY SO MANY DIFFERENT FASHION ARTISTS SUCH AS STYLISTS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, MODELS, HAIR, AND MAKEUP ARTISTS. WHAT ASPECT OF YOUR AVANT-GARDE FASHION DO YOU THINK ATTRACTS THE PEOPLE IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
I will start off by saying that I have been extremely lucky to have met, worked, or have been surrounded by so many talented people that saw something in my designs and believed in me. I know my pieces aren’t for everyone or even for every day, they are one-of-a-kind pieces going on one-of-a-kind people who live for fashion and wearing them on special occasions.
SWEET DREAMS: DOPE TAVIO SILVER PVC BOWS DRESS, YSL VOILE POLKA-DOT GLOVES, DEVIOUS SCREAM PUMPS, DOOR KNOCKER EARRINGS, VINTAGE PEARLS.
DOPE TAVIO IS SOLD BY PATRICIA FIELD’S ARTFASHION GALLERY IN NYC, WHICH IS SUCH A KEY PART OF THE “WEAR-ABLE ART” MOVEMENT, HOW DID YOU CONNECT WITH PATRICIA AND HER SELECT BAND OF ARTISTS?
I’ve been shopping in Patricia Field since I was 11, my mom would always take me back to school shopping in the East and West village when I was a kid so I was familiar with her since a kid. Although I had met her on several occasions in both New York and Miami, throughout the years it wasn’t till I moved to NYC where there was a buzz about me that her team came to visit my studio. They then took pieces for Pat to look at and they picked up my line right away. I love it there it’s like 1 big ol family.
EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD: DOPE TAVIO LAME BIKER JACKET DRESS, DOPE TAVIO PUFFER HAT, YSL STOCKINGS, DEVIOUS SCREAM PUMPS, GUCCI LACE GLOVES, VINTAGE VOLT EARRINGS, VINTAGE SUNGLASSES.
YOU ARE ONE OF THE DESIGNERS ON PROJECT RUNWAY SEASON 19, CONGRATULATIONS BY THE WAY! YOU CAN BE A PERFECTIONIST IN STYLING YOUR CLOTHES AND YOU ARE METICULOUS IN MAKING SURE OF THEIR BEAUTY. GIVEN THE TRADITIONAL 1-2 DAY CHALLENGES OF THE SHOW, HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO CREATE YOUR AESTHETIC GIVEN SUCH INTENSE PRESSURE?
Thank you. I always say that I work best under pressure and with crazy deadlines but this was something else. I remember while sewing on the machines I would be styling in my head, envisioning how I wanted the model to look like on the runway. It was a lot of fun running around that workroom and backstage to make sure it was perfect.
PROJECT RUNWAY USUALLY BRINGS TOGETHER DESIGNERS WITH VASTLY DIFFERENT OUTLOOKS ON FASHION, DID YOU FEEL YOU LEARNED SOMETHING NEW FROM THE OTHER DESIGNERS, OR DID YOU TEACH THEM?
I think we were all very impressed this season! It was such a huge group of very talented designers, I feel like we all learn something from one another and we were all very helpful to one another.
FASHION CAN BE BRUTAL IN ITS CONSTANT DEMAND FOR SOMETHING NEW, TODAY IT’S ALL ABOUT SUSTAINABLE DESIGN WHICH SUITS YOUR UNCONVENTIONAL AND VINTAGE FABRICS, DO YOU THINK THAT WILL CHANGE?
I don’t see it going anywhere, sustainability is here to stay. People are aware of how fast fashion has destroyed everything. I will continue to upcycle with some of my pieces in my line.
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