Connie De la Cruz’s fashion pieces always tell a story.
“I would say personal experiences are a big thing for me,” De la Cruz said. “I’m inspired by my feelings and emotions.”
De la Cruz, 22, a slim brunette from the Dominican Republic, said her interest in fashion sparked before high school. She had always paid attention to detail. So she loves detail in patterns in fashion design.
She attended an affiliate Parsons school in the Dominican Republic before transferring to Parsons in New York, where she lives now.
“There’s something about here that I really, really like,” she said. “Everyone’s focused on their thing. They want to get somewhere, they want to do something, they want to be someone.”
And De la Cruz is on her way. Last year, she was a finalist for her thesis collection. This January, she started freelancing for Calvin Klein. But she still designs her own work.
Most of De la Cruz’s garments – hoods, pockets and detachable capes – are based on folds. These folds represent feelings, and the concept of either letting emotions go or keeping them inside.
To further emphasize emotions, she designs folds with wide bottoms that become narrower as they get closer to the neckline. The outfit essentially points to the person wearing it.
And De la Cruz points to her story through her design.
She just started work on her pre-fall collection, in which she plans to focus on distortions.
“Some designers just design and they have really cool ideas and really cool material, but at the end, it’s not saying anything about them,” De la Cruz said. “What did the designer have to do to get there? What was the designer thinking about when he did it?”
Not everyone asks themselves those questions. But De la Cruz does.