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Elena Velez: Year Zero Season by a Designer to Watch

This designer’s fragile-looking yet imposing creations, as well as her unconventional sustainable business model were recently noticed by industry heavyweights such BOF and online retailer SSENSE! Year Zero — Rinascita is a formal introduction to the aggressively delicate universe of the Elena Velez brand and its many multidisciplinary collaborators.

The collection is a redistribution in the hierarchy between the brand’s classic consideration of textile, body, and style. Born in a moment of collective anxiety, the work contemplates the tension between bondage and shelter, and the duality of enclosure: the power to shield yet ensnare. Additional sources of inspiration for Year Zero – Rinascita, including brutalist architecture, harlots of the belle epoch, and the Pompeian decline of decadent civilizations.

Based in Milwaukee, WI, the mission of the brand at large seeks to diversify the American fashion narrative by recontextualizing regional craftsmanship, upholding the work of makers outside of typically established creative capitals.

It’s an affectionate and feminine interruption of Midwestern masculine might and an experiment in dismantling the geographical condescension that has historically overlooked artists like those working for this brand.

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