Editor – Justin Howard @jthnomad
Designer – Adolfo Sanchez @asanchezfashion
“I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity.” – Diana Vreeland
With a collection that runs the gambit from futuristic club wear to couture bridal gowns, designer Adolfo Sanchez draws heavily on Hollywood’s rich fashion heritage in the creation of his wondrous pieces. By staying true to his own inner vision, Adolfo has managed to set himself apart from the other LA-based designers in that you never know quite what his next runway will show. When it comes to LA Fashion Week, Adolfo’s runway shows are always a hot ticket item with front row seats being fought over by fashionistas and celebrities alike. One of my all time favorite fashion interactive experiences was when Adolfo partnered up with Monster headphones. Adolfo bridged his love of music and fashion to create a truly memorable event.
Adolfo Sanchez, From Hollywood With Love
Justin Howard for Black Chalk : What inspired you to get into fashion design?
Adolfo Sanchez : I fell in love with fashion as a teenager when I was engulfed in underground subculture aka a group of kids who called themselves “club kids.” These individuals were known for their unique style. Outrages outfits, bold prints, platforms, and intricate makeup – you name it, they did it. It was that creativity in the underground culture partnered with a sense of freedom that initially inspired me to become more involved with fashion.
Black Chalk : Did you want to become a fashion designer when you were young?
Adolfo Sanchez : I didn’t initially plan on becoming a designer, it just kind of happened. I worked for number of high-end retail outlets throughout my life, but never fathom the idea of actually designing garments. After years of working for multiple fashion brands, I thought I would finally teach myself to sew. So I went out and purchased a sewing machine. From there, it was only a matter of time before I got more involved in the industry. I networked as much as possible and booked as many gigs as I could as a stylist. Eventually, I was able to create a brand for myself and it became my full-time gig.
Black Chalk : What’s your philosophy about the ART of fashion?
Adolfo Sanchez : I feel that true fashion is a display of creativity and workmanship. I love the idea of using my hands, and manifesting something from an idea into a physical reality.
Black Chalk : What do you enjoy most about designing clothes?
Adolfo Sanchez : I enjoy the creative process of design. I love drafting ideas in my mind and being able to translate that into something tangible. Seeing my vision come to life is probably the most gratifying feeling in the world. Especially right before a runway show starts and you see all the models fully done up in hair, makeup, and the look. It’s like seeing your whole vision come to life. It’s really such an amazing feeling!
Black Chalk : As a designer what is the most challenging part of your job?
Adolfo Sanchez : The creative process is fun, but also the most challenging aspect of design. Planning for the next collection can be stressful at times. There’s a lot of thought that goes into it – What is the theme behind this collection? Do I think people will be receptive to it? Is this the best representation of my work?
Black Chalk : So if you had the choice of all designers in the world to collaborate with, who would that person be for your choice?
Adolfo Sanchez : Alexander McQueen. I’ve always been a fan of his work growing up. His mind was fantastic to see in action. Before I would ever collaborate with someone, I would loved to just sit down and have a conversation with that individual whoses mind clearly works in a different way compared to the rest of the world.
Black Chalk : Who is your most influential fashion designer?
Adolfo Sanchez : Alexander McQueen. His designs are so unique and out-of-the-box. He has always pushed the boundaries of fashion and continuously inspires me to stretch my creative mindset.
Black Chalk : Does your work reflect your personal fashion taste? Can you describe your style?
Adolfo Sanchez : I always try to interject my personal fashion taste in my designs. Growing up, I was heavily influenced by underground “club kid” subculture. I grew up in that scene and have always dressed a little more on the edgier side of things. My personal style is best described as a mixture of street wear meets chic styling.
Black Chalk : What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start a career in fashion?
Adolfo Sanchez : Follow your dreams, relentlessly! It’s not easy creating your own brand, and most people will never understand that. However, if you are passionate and put in the work, you will be successful. Also, networking is key.
Black Chalk : What do you think are the latest fashion trends?
Adolfo Sanchez : I feel that right now fashion is geared more towards comfort. Most of the trends are casual chic, grunge inspired, and boho-esque. I’ve noticed that more women and men have been into a looser silhouette, something more oversized and of course street wear is huge right now.
Black Chalk : How do you see the positioning of LA fashion in a global scenario?
Adolfo Sanchez : In a global sense, I feel that LA fashion is beginning to make a name for itself. There are a ton of talented LA-based designers, and I feel that as the years progress it will eventually be categorized alongside NY.
Black Chalk : Where do you get your design inspiration?
Adolfo Sanchez : It’s all conceptualized in my head, to be completely honest. I can be lying in bed at 2AM or driving in my car stuck in traffic—inspiration comes sporadically. From there, I just start playing with fabrics until my vision begins to unfold.
Black Chalk : Are there any other areas of fashion you want or have plans to get into?
Adolfo Sanchez : I definitely want to dabble into menswear. My brand is directly influenced by my personal taste in fashion, so I would love to create garments that I myself can wear. There is a potential men’s collaboration in the works but still too soon to kiss and tell.
Black Chalk : Future plans?
Adolfo Sanchez : For now we are focusing on evening wear and putting a larger focus on bridal. It’s an area that I really want to grow and launch more categories within.