As a fashion designer, when the CFDA and W Hotels gets behind your collection, they’re essentially saying, you’ve made it, we believe in your vision, now let’s get this thing going. This past weekend in Miami, that’s exactly what happened when designers cum CFDA fashion incubators, Misha Nonoo, Sara Beltran and Isa Tapia showed 21 different looks from their collections for the W Hotel. Designers making imprints for hotel brands? What’s next, you say? When its the W though, you already understand that the aesthetic is chic, high-end and trendy beyond belief. There are no cookie-cutter, diffusion items here. Its designed with beauty and sophistication in mind. Isa Tapia’s trademarked swirl espadrilles are front and center, Beltran’s intricate jewelry consisting of a shark fin tiger’s eye and marquise diamond and accents are in attendance and Nonoo’s cotton voile belted tunic will be a must have at any W.
I had a chance to briefly interview the designers back stage on process, the meaning behind the CFDA and W Hotel collaboration and their future directions. Their answers were as diverse as their designs, but there’s a commonality of purpose: reaching their own creative level.
pd: You’ve got to have some degree of craziness to get into the fashion industry no?
Misha Nonoo: Not necessarily crazy, but it has to be a love. I love creating and since showing in New York I’ve been able to show my love of art and the diversity that comes with it.
pd: This collection in Miami being shown at the W and eventually sold, what does it mean for you?
Misha Nonoo: The idea behind it was creating a sort of day to play activity. You can wear it throughout the day and later on its still beautiful for the evening.
pd: The wearer of this collections should feel…
Misha Nonoo: Beautiful, it’s really designed with that art in mind. I think that someone wearing it will see it as versatile and something that works on many levels.
pd: You went from stylist to designer and are now showing a collection during Miami swim, how does that feel?
Sara Beltran: It feels great. I think this is a great collaboration because Misha and Isa are dedicated to their work like I am. I wanted to display this passion, this desire in what I create. I love the ocean so to show during Miami Swim with them is exactly something that I love doing.
pd: There is an intricacy in your jewelry creations that’s so different from what’s seen anywhere else, why is that?
Sara Beltran: I can only speak for my approach, but I love the beach and I travel often so in visiting I get to use materials like fossilized shark teeth and shells. I use precious gems along with those types of raw materials and I carve so what you’ll see is something different in almost every piece.
pd: That has got to be a painstaking process
Sara Beltran: It can be, but when you have a passion for doing it, it’s never work, it’s love.
pd: When you design for a show like this what’s your thought process?
Isa Tapia: There’s a collaboration with beautiful designs from Misha and Sara, so I try to create something that reflects the overall collection, but remains true to how I approach my own designs.
pd: You’re well known for the diversity of your shoe designs, how do you take that into account with the CFDA and W hotel items?
Isa Tapia: I want a beach club feel, so these espadrilles are light but they also accessorize with what Misha has ready for the show and the collection itself. There’s no expectations, because I design from a variety of inspiration and places.
pd: Is this collection a preview of what’s in store for the future season, specifically a design direction?
Isa Tapia: It can be. This showing consists of that beach club look, but the entire collection can be something different. It depends on what I want to create at the time.