Whether you dress in basic t-shirts, in designer wear or something in between, you care about fashion.
For those who say they sincerely don’t care, Daniel Mozzes of Daniel Mozzes Design simply asks “Do you wear clothes?”
In his design studio on Pearl Street, the fashion designer has been proving to upstate New Yorkers that clothing is more than a necessity: it’s an identity.
He’s been a long time Capital Region resident, although he grew up in Europe and received most of his fashion design training by working with various designers.
Growing up, the women in his family were always very style conscious.
“I don’t think I ever saw a single pair of flat shoes in my house,” Mozzes laughed.
When he first moved to the area over a decade ago, he didn’t find that people equated style with identity or viewed fashion as important as his family had.
But in the past few years, Mozzes believes there’s been a shift in local perspective.
“I think it’s very important for you to have a sense of style . . . people should care more about what they put on their backs,” Mozzes said.
In the last few years, he’s noticed a rise in residents doing just that: paying more attention to what they buy and the clothing they decide to put on every morning.
The added attention may have been brought on by the media attention focused on the fashion industry. It could also be the expansion of New York's Fashion Week, which Mozzes was recently involved in for the first time.
He was asked to show his collection at the 2017 Spring Fashion week in late February.
When most designers show, they pick models from agencies based in New York City.
“But I said, can I bring my own models?” Mozzes said.
He’s been working closely with models from around the Capital Region for the past five years and said they feel like family now.
To not have his local model family on the runways of New York " . . . would be like not inviting your friend to a great party or something,” Mozzes said.
Organizers of the show were taken aback by his decision, but they let him bring seven local models down the NYC runway.
Since the show, editors from two major women’s magazines have contacted him and his pieces will be included in their upcoming issues.
While the experience was incredible and he would gladly do it again, he has his sights set on a goal that's closer to home.
“We’re only two and a half hours away from the city . . . why can’t we have our own fashion week?” Mozzes said, “People deserve it.”
This Spring, Pearl Street will be shutting down for one of his fashion shows on May 20 to support the Ronald McDonald House, but he’d like to see it expand.
“There’s always room for more,” Mozzes said. He’d like to gather other designers and artists from around the greater Capital Region to create an upstate version of fashion week.
This confidence that the region could support and benefit from a full fashion week was first sparked during Mozzes' first show in Albany.
It was held in the New York State Museum in 2012 and he wasn’t sure what to expect.
Over 200 people attended and that number has only gone up each year, along with his client base. Mozzes has held two shows a year since 2012, working with a charity for almost every show.
“Art is supposed to be paired with charity,” Mozzes said. He’s supported cystic fibrosis awareness organizations, breast cancer survivors, the Albany Damien Center and others.
Mozzes also readily donates his designs to charity auctions and said that designing for charity been a guiding force in his work and throughout his life.
“No one is better than anyone else, I truly believe that,” Mozzes said.
This sense is reflected in his eclectic design aesthetic.
His designs for women are elegant, with classic cuts, but with erratic textures.
“To do this you cannot be boring. . . I won’t let someone walk out of my studio in a boring outfit,” Mozzes said.
His customers usually request dresses for formal engagements or parties. He’s also had a few requests for wedding dresses.
But Mozzes doesn’t stop with dresses and jumpsuits for women.
He also designs accessories like bracelets and headbands, some of which are on display in his studio. They tend to be just as eclectic as his clothing designs- sometimes pairing beads with large shells or pearls.
For his upcoming show, he’s working on a collection of mens and womens clothing that is as classic as it is sensual.
A jumpsuit with a plunging neckline. A sheer black sample that stretches from shoulders to feet.
And one of his favorites, a balloon dress, short with plush fabric gathered and running down from the waistline.
“I love this style . . . it’s so sexy,” Mozzes said.
He’s calling all models, especially male models, in the Capital Region who are interested in walking down the runway of Pearl Street this spring and to become a part of what just might be the Capital Region’s first Fashion Week.
For more information, visit his website: http://danielmozzesdesign.com/
Or his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DanielMozzesDesign/