Who are you and what is your role at Moore?
I am Daniel Velasco, a professor and program head of Fashion Design at Moore College of Art & Design. In addition to my role within Moore’s renowned BFA program, I also proudly serve as an educator in our Continuing Education programs, Young Artists Workshop and Summer Art and Design Institute.
What first brought you to Moore?
The initial appeal for me was the environment. The fact that we are the first and only historically visual arts college for women in the nation is incredibly important, and here’s one of the reasons why: According to PWC's industry report, “Unraveling The Fabric Ceiling,” women make up to 80% of all fashion purchasing decisions (as much as $15 trillion globally) yet only 12.5% of apparel and retail apparel companies in the Fortune 1000 are women-led. It is unbelievable to me, and I wanted to do my part to help change that.
How has your role in the Moore community evolved?
My time at Moore has been incredibly rewarding. I’m thankful to my colleagues, the administration and the students who have created a space in which we can move forward together. My journey here began when I arrived at Moore as a summer class instructor for the Young Artists Workshop, and I couldn’t have imagined the type of supportive and nurturing environment that I found here. I’ve learned that as long as you operate from a foundation of transparency, trust and respect, this is an institution that rewards hard work, professionalism and talent.
What are you most excited about bringing to the Fashion Design department this semester?
What excites me the most during this or any semester is the opportunity to showcase the work of our incredible students. They are truly the stars of the department. To see someone realize their idea is a profound moment for me as an educator and for the student, in their first steps as a designer. Our capstone event, the Spring/Summer Fashion Show, is something we all look forward to because with it comes the promise of a new future for our students entering the industry.
What do you hope students gain from working with you?
To humbly quote Socrates: “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” Beyond any instruction that I can impart to any of my students, what I hope they walk away with is active thinking and the ability to question anything—externally and, most importantly, introspectively. I want them to learn the rules but also cultivate a healthy desire for questioning why. Above all, my hope is that they are good: good in character, good in design, good in ethics and good in working alongside each other.
What do you hope to gain from this experience?
My life is guided by purpose and that is not lost on me in my professional endeavors. At Moore, I have the ability to help inspiring designers and I get the distinct honor of nurturing the next generation of women leaders of the industry. I start each day expectantly, and doing so has never let me down.
Why is Philadelphia an exciting place for young aspiring fashion designers?
Philadelphia is one of the most interesting, creatively minded cities in the nation. It’s a city of firsts. A city filled with people eager to make their mark, who have the courage to be different and the power in their voice to make it so. I’m proud to be a member of such an eclectic and inclusive community, a community I feel that is prime for a designer on the rise.