VALVOELITE, luxurious, durable menswear.
How did you get your start in the industry?
As a kid I became completely infatuated with the design and construction of clothing. My brother use to paint on Tee shirts. I remember seeing that and going “wow I can make my own clothes”. I went from graphic designing to sewing my own samples. I started painting on tee shirts but it wasn’t enough. It drove me to heat pressing tee shirts. When I got my heat press is when I started doing custom tee shirts for people. Eventually I got bored of it and took some time to learn graphic design and got into screen-printing. I went and got an internship at a screen printing shop in Brooklyn. When I first started graphic designing tee shirts it was horrible. I remember trying to sell my designs to people and getting that, I don’t want to break your heart, face lol. But after years of doing random graphic design jobs and buying books and self-teaching myself, I developed my own style. I started paying attention to design composition which made me fall in love even more. I was a kid just hustling Tee shirts in NYC. Someone saw my Tee shirts on a band that played at SxSW and I just thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I’ve never been to Texas but my clothes have. I picked up sewing and started selling my own cut and trim pieces. By this time I established my own clientele base.I was a teen becoming and adult, not knowing what I wanted to do in life I took some time off and went to school for engineering. After I got my A.S in engineering I didn’t continues school because I wasn’t passionate about it. I started working on fashion here and there. Through some networks I got the opportunity to design for a few brands. Many of them were used at their fashion shows. After that I decided that this is my life’s journey.
Can you tell us how you started your own brand?
I started selling custom designs to people, and then eventually decided that I was a part of a culture that was missing in fashion, the perspective of fashion from my background. I came up with the name Valvoelite when I was 14. That was the first name that popped in my head and it was so different and weird. I think that’s when I was my most creative. I use that name to remind myself why I do this. I built a reputation for selling quality goods. Lil by lil, one customer at a time a brand was built.
Where do you draw inspiration?
I go to a lot of trade shows. I like looking at fabrics and I can spend hours looking at fashion shows. But sometimes the most inspiring thing is to live. When you have a story that can relate to people and you express that in your art, people instantly become attracted to it. I designed a shirt that had circles on the lower half of it. The inspiration came from trying to find myself. Comparing the circles to life, everyone is one individual circle but when we all come together there is a bigger picture. We can’t see it until we all come together. It’s kind of like, why do giant circular planets exist? We don’t know why but there is a reason.
Are there any particular trends or designers you absolutely love right now and why?
I’m a big fan of Thom Browne and Tim Coppens. They are both very different but I like the wearable fashion they design. Thom’s style is more a high end professional aesthetic. Tim has this street culture with high fashion elegance style.
What are your plans for the future of the brand?
We care going to start working on collections very soon. By next year I see us doing runway shows.
Who is your ideal customer?
The ideal customer would be someone who takes their time to learn about Valvoelite products. We enjoy customers that take their time to investigate why we do things a certain way. A man who enjoys quality, style, and durability.