Daniel Velasco is a fashion designer, illustrator and educator, who recently collaborated on a number of red carpet designs for actor Harvey Guillén, from FX’s show What We Do in the Shadows.
What’s your earliest memory of being creative or knowing that you wanted to do something creative with your life?
When I was three or four years old, my late grandmother owned a fashion boutique. I remember being in the back room doodling on a pad with markers for what seemed like hours. Full concentration creating my doodles, without saying a word. I believe everyone in my family knew I was going to grow up to be part of the creative world.
Who is the artist or designer who has influenced you most and why?
I have always admired Jean Paul Gaultier. The freedom in his creativity has taken him everywhere. He has always been unapologetically himself, and that is reflected in his vast body of work, from his iconic collaboration with Madonna, to his very successful brand, to multiple costumes designed for movies such as Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element or Pedro Almodóvar’s Kika.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done recently, professionally or otherwise?
Every project that I have had the luck to be involved with makes me very proud and joyful, but lately I’ve had the opportunity to create clothing for Hollywood actor Harvey Guillén (Guillermo in FX’s What We Do in the Shadows) and right now I am collaborating with an immensely talented Moore alumna Neel ElSherif, head designer and founder of Mela (a vegan apple leather handbag company). I am creating the invitation and social media activations for their first show in New York Fashion Week.
What is it like in your classroom at Moore?
I am rigorous in the classroom. I firmly believe that being disciplined is the best form of self-exploration, and the most conducive route to creation. I want to teach students how to be the best versions of themselves, always honoring who they are and the creative process, which can be very hard at times, and which without discipline could become absolutely untamable.
If Moore had a mascot, what would it be?