Gwen Beloti is a womenswear designer who is a lover of fashionable freedom and expression; A user of colorful threads that collectively make statements and have attitude; A style curator creating in good ol’ NYC. Gwen, a Brooklyn native with a Master’s Degree in Psychology under her belt, sells garb to a growing customer base who value their investment in the brand. Her designs are unique and definitely chic. I caught up with her to the scoop on her collection.
Gwen: Like most girls I’ve always loved playing dress-up, how that turned into Gwen Beloti Collection, I honestly don’t have a concrete answer. In 2007 I started making clothes totally self taught, soon thereafter I went back to school for fashion design. I didn’t want to do an okay job, I wanted to do a great job and needed to perfect my craft. Even after schooling I didn’t fathom having my own line. It was a good friend of mine who really encouraged me and believed in my talent that prompted me to launch my collection. I’m grateful for my family and friends that have been my support system every step of the way.
Mz Mahogany: How did it feel seeing your collection on a runway for the first time?
Gwen: Well to date I can’t say that I’ve actually seen any of my runway shows with my own eyes as an onlooker, I’m always backstage frantic making sure things are in order and go well. Actually being a part of the runway experience though is really surreal, you plan and plan and to see it come to fruition is really amazing. My very first solo show was actually in mom’s back yard in ’08, it was definitely one to remember. Looking back at that show and some of my more recent showcases I’m amazed at the progress and I work to create even more superior artistry. I’m thankful to have been able to experience the runway.
Mz Mahogany: What was the most difficult aspect in launching your own label?
Gwen: Really believing that it would or could work was one of my challenges. I just didn’t think initially that my hobby and then trade would become Gwen Beloti Collection. It is important to recognize that if you can dream it and conceive it that you can in fact make it happen. It takes a lot of hard work and passion but it’s definitely worth it and will always be a work in progress.
Mz Mahogany: Which fashion designers do you admire?
Gwen: I appreciate and admire so many; some of my faves are Marc Jacobs, Oscar Dela Renta, Nicole Miller, Dior, Chanel, Rachel Roy, and Tracy Reese.
Mz Mahogany: Which celebrities are on your bucket list to style?
Gwen: Our dream girl is the stylista herself Tracee Ellis Ross, we LOVE her.
Mz Mahogany: What advice would you give a fashion newbie or student, looking to become a designer?
Gwen: I’d say go for it, stay true to yourself and your aesthetic but also listen closely to your customers and stay abreast to the happenings of the industry
Mz Mahogany: Tell me about your ‘2012 Spring Structured Fluidity’ collection, and your inspiration to create this line.
Gwen: The collection offers a compilation of spirited dresses and separates that showcase a structured design aesthetic, soft drapery and a customary play on color. The Gwen Beloti brand is inspired greatly by femininity, romance, edge and independence and caters to real women who want to add wearable novelty to their wardrobe. The line is comprised of transitional day to night pieces which in turn is fitting for various occasions and are smart buys.
Mz Mahogany: Which design is your favorite?
Gwen: This picture and piece is one of my favorites because it is a classic for Gwen Beloti. This jacket is from one of our earlier collections and to date is still a customer favorite. It definitely captures the essence of Gwen Beloti by way of the luxe silk fabrication and the novel yet wearable statement this piece makes.
Mz Mahogany: Do you have any upcoming runway shows booked?
Gwen: Soon we’ll begin planning for our Spring 2013 runway show. In the interim we’ll be doing various live and static photo shoots capturing the essence of Gwen Beloti.
Mz Mahogany: What can we expect from the Gwen Beloti brand in the near future?
Gwen: More fashion, new items, and more charity collaborations. We’re currently designing and creating a prom dress that will be given to a young lady in need via the non-profit organization L.A.C.E.. We’re also looking to plan a sew meet up to make simple dresses for young girls in Africa via the Little Dresses for Africa organization.
For more information on Gwen Beloti and the Gwen Beloti fashion brand, please visit her website http://www.gwenbeloti.com