beingbusacca

an avid observer of our zeitgeist, a researcher of our past.

a girl worth knowing

Adriana Angelini; one you will undoubtedly be hearing about. I have had the pleasure to attend Academy of Art University with Adriana, a place full of creative minds and inventive aesthetics, but she stood out like a sore thumb (in the best way), not only because of her effortless style, but because of her presence; always with a genuine, happy smile on her face. I find it to be something of a rarity today when you are amongst an individual who is truly happy with who they are. As it is evident by the way that they speak, by what they speak about, and more importantly, how they make other people feel. I am quite the perfectionist and always aspiring to be my best, but what I appreciate most is that Adriana has been one of those classmates that make me try harder, desire to know more, and to be better at what I do. And for that, I am forever grateful. You need people in life who push you, sometimes unknowingly, but who remind you how much you love something, a dream, and to remember to breathe and be happy while chasing it. May you find people that make you want to be more than who you are and may you enjoy this interview that I find to be so beautiful and so inspiring. Thank you, Adriana!

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Where are you from originally? And what brought you to San Francisco? 

I am originally from Venezuela but left when I was about 3, and ever since I have travelled the world. My Mom works for Coca-Cola, so as a result, we have lived everywhere from Brazil to Costa Rica to Mexico. I guess I was raised a nomad. It’s interesting because before coming to San Francisco I was studying in Paris, where you would think I would never want to leave. It was beautiful but it was cold, and it was far away from my family, so I think moving to San Francisco just seemed like an organic step to take. It’s cold, but in the three years I’ve been here it’s rained 3 times, total (laughs) and I can visit my family more often. I came for the city more than the school, but being at the Academy of Art makes me never want to leave. I got really lucky to find such a great school in one of the most perfect cities.

What were your loves as a child, are some of your interests still the same today? 

It’s funny because when looking at my life, what I am doing now is just a refined version of what I did when I was a child. I was obsessed with barbies, but more than just playing with them I loved making their houses. I had every piece of furniture and little plastic plant, and would spend hours searching for interesting nooks in my house to set-up their home. I am currently doing an internship at California Home+Design, which has nothing to do with fashion, but a part of me has always loved interior design. I think all areas of design feed off of each other, so I think it’s important not to compartmentalize the fields, or even confine yourself to one field only. I think the biggest interest that still remains is the interest to learn. I have always been curious about life, and I think I always will be.

Where do you think your love for fashion manifested?

As silly as it sounds it started from bloggers. I remember in my junior year of highschool, right when blogs were starting to gain recognition, I would look at blogs for hours on end and then after I got my inspiration I would run to my closet and just create outfits for my next day at school. By the end of junior year I won “Best Dressed” (super lame but validating) and it made me realize that I maybe might have a knack for it. I love aesthetics and beautiful things and the manipulation of fabrics to create something spectacular is what keeps my interest in fashion alive.

 Were you raised in a family where they supported your creative dreams? Are they true proponents of your inventive aesthetic? 

I owe my family a lot. Everything they do is for me, which makes me incredibly lucky. I remember when I was little my mother would always say “I don’t care if you want to be a garbage-can collector, what I care about is you being the best you can be doing that job”. It’s never been a matter of what I do, it’s always been how I do it, and the values my parents have engrained in me make me thankful because it has humbled me in an indescribable way. They will always have my back, and they will always have unconditional faith in me, which to be honest is what keeps me going when I don’t even have faith in myself. They aren’t the cause of my aesthetic because they have a pretty tacky taste (laughs). My aesthetic doesn’t come from my parents at all, it comes from different sources at random times. With that said, my parents and I are foodies at heart, and I think our constant visit to spectacular restaurants does fuel our appreciation as a family for well-designed spaces and objects.

 What are your future goals, lets say..in the next 3-5 years?

To be honest, I am 21, I have no idea what I want out of life yet or where I want to go with my career, but I do know that I want my work to have meaning, and I can only learn about what matters to me through experience. I am very interested in marketing, so at the moment my goal is to participate in any activities or opportunities that will help me build the necessary skills to one day be a part of a marketing team. In the long long run though, I want my own business. Maybe it’s because I’m an only child, but it drives me crazy to work for someone else’s vision. I want to use my energy to make my own visions happen.

How do you set goals for yourself? Are you a go-getter or let life come to you kind-of-girl? Or maybe a little bit of both?

It’s interesting because the other day I was reading an article about two types of people in the world; the do-ers and the thinkers. The thinkers might ultimately end-up with a better thought-out plan, but they will never have the courage to make it happen because they have thought about all of the things that might and will go wrong. The do-er, on the other hand, although impulsive, makes things happen, and lives life. I think these types of questions are quite null for me to be answering because at 21, I am still discovering life. I am still discovering my ways and still seeing what works and what doesn’t work. I used to be a thinker, and to a certain extent I still am, but I want my future self to be a do-er. Goals, to me, are visions of what I want for my life in the future, which relates to the thinker in me, but now I have to start figuring out how to get there, which is why I need to start doing. But there isn’t a methodology to my life yet, I don’t think there ever will be. You can’t plan life.

What are a few core values you believe in and take with you as your adulthood unfolds?

I am a big fan of values because I think they are what guide our actions in everything we do. I think one of the biggest values my mom has passed-on to me is perseverance and hard work. It’s acknowledging that you are responsible for outcomes and that the more effort you put, the more it shows, and that even if you aren’t rewarded at the moment, those efforts will pay off. It’s having integrity in your work, and always being honest and gaining success through valid means. I also believe in treating others with respect, at always acknowledging that we all have feelings, we are all fighting our own battles, and to understand that just because someone might not think the same way, doesn’t mean they are bad people. I think it’s very easy to make excuses with all things in life, but the most important to me is to keep growing and to keep on improving. Life isn’t a competition between you and people better than you; life is a competition between you and one’s former self. If you respect others, focus on your own strengths, and never give-up on what you believe in, there will be little room left in one’s heart for negativity.

What is important to you when it comes to your dream career?

At the moment, meaning is what matters most. I’m not saying I have to be saving lives for a job to be meaningful, but I have to believe in my career. I have to know that what I am doing is affecting someone and preferably bettering his or her life. There also has to be a sense of innovation and creativity involved with what I will be doing. I think to move forward one must think forward, and exercising creativity on a daily basis will only lead to better ideas for a better future.

Could you describe your personal style in 3 words?

Feminine, Comfortable, French

If there is something you would want to be remembered for, what would that be?

I think I would want to be remembered for my values and happiness. I want to be remembered as a good person who was happy despite what life threw my way. I want to be remembered as someone who made happiness contagious, and someone who always believed that kindness was the path for humanities success.

Have you traveled a lot in your lifetime thus far? If so, what place is the most inspiring or impacted you on a greater level?

I LOVE to travel, in fact, I frown upon those who don’t (sorry! Laughs). What I love about traveling is how it humbles you. It can take you from feeling comfortable in your home to feeling like an ant that has no purpose in life, and I think that experience makes you appreciate life more. I think the only place that’s left for me to visit is Asia, which I am really excited about. I think the places that inspire me depend on what I am going through at the moment. This past summer I did an internship in New York and I hated it. Right after it ended, me and my best friend went to Costa Rica to a small town called Santa Teresa, where, as opposed to New York that was an overwhelming pot of everything, was a one-road town that was literally one hut, the jungle, and a beach. I have never felt so at peace yet, at the same time, at war with my life, because being there made me question a lot of what I was doing with my future. I never wanted to leave, and I might even go back once I graduate for 2 months to think.

Lastly, what is your life motto? What makes you Adriana?

There is no right or wrong answer to life. You need to live based on what matters to you and make decisions based on what’s right for YOU. You will never be happy if you keep on chasing other people’s dreams.

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mastering mondays

I am going to be honest here, I am not a morning person and definitely not one when Monday arrives. It is a challenge for me to kick start my Monday after a relaxing weekend that comes and goes all too quickly. However, I know what consistently makes me happy throughout each day, and that is, loving my outfit. I don’t know about you but my day does not feel complete or at its full potential if I do not like the way I look, which ultimately affects the way I feel. Yes, guilty; fashion affects me. I am a believer in dressing in a way that makes you feel your most beautiful and why not start your week off the right way with a dose of fashion inspiration. Trust me, I need some motivation every now and then, too.

current style offer: a black motorcycle jacket is the new blouse

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What doesn’t he do?

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The man with the creative craft that will force you to question, from his toy gadgets to his punk rock band, there is something to be said about the avenue Keanan Duffty takes and one that is solely his own. I sat down with Mr. KD with the inclination and desire to know more about the designer who attended Central Saint Martins, worked with David Bowie, rocks the Vivienne Westwood bandage pant while now living and teaching product development in San Francisco, and still continues to design and travel back and forth to Norway; it seems as if he hasn’t stopped living the dream. 

How and why did you choose this field to work in?

As a child, I was always very interested in visual creativity and wasn’t the best when it came to academics, I excelled in hands on subjects that allowed me to naturally be inclined to want to be a part of the creative fashion industry.

How did you get started in your professional career?

I graduated from Central Saint Martins; I started my own label immediately with governmental help, which magically used to exist during this time in the UK. The government was able to help emerging designers in the industry and I quickly began to realize I did not exactly know what I was doing.

Did you work for an internship or internships along the way?

I interned on Savile Row where I made hats for a store, but I was quite the rebellious type and didn’t want to intern. I made clothes, for music acts, and sold them throughout college, right out of my college dorm room window to other students!

How did you get to this position that you are now in your career and how many years did it take you?

I graduated in 1996, 27 years ago-Jesus that was a long time ago, 17 years being out of college, wow. I either worked for myself, for most of my career, and for about 6 years I worked for larger fashion companies while I ran my own business. I worked as a consultant for other brands and I find that even up to today, I stay connected to the industry, and you need to, because it changes so rapidly.

Tell me more about your specific design path, your business and collaborations with other fashion companies.

My label, Keanan Duffty, launched in 1998 and sold to high-end boutiques such as Fred Segal and over 150 stores such as Bergdorf’s, Selfridges in London, to Hong Kong and all over the world. My design studio was in New York, tri-state areas were my faculty had 12 members; we are a full production team and were able to fulfill orders within weeks. The business began to be difficult to run, there are so many intangibles, even with the retailers we sold to had problems no matter how fancy the store may have been or still is. In 2006, I struck a deal with Target; I was out of the boutique business, and worked with Target for 3 years. It was a very, very good experience and learned a lot about their business model and I was able to just design and not worry about production and distribution, I specifically designed menswear, and had built a strategic alliance with Target that kept me from going back to the boutique business.

Tell me about some of the difficulties you yourself have had or that may come up for someone new to this field?

Well, my wife and I had a business together and there is always going to be challenges in the business world and when my personal life and business were intertwined-that was the most challenging. I think the one most challenging aspect for any creative person is when you feel like your creativity is not appreciated and that comes in many shapes, and it may be you create something that doesn’t retail. That has happened to me loads of times, where I have created things that didn’t necessarily work in the marketplace, and that can be challenging.

Other challenges you faced?

I closed my design studio in 2006 through necessity, and the business for whatever reason had changed. I was able to lead myself into a business with Target, but to sit down with people you have worked with for a long time, people you love and respect and to have to let them go, that was extremely difficult. I had to let everyone on my design team go, I’ve continued to work with them in other ways and have kept a relationship with them and even till today, there is still a mutual respect for one another. A business that requires a lot of hard work and dedication is sometimes one that you are not often financially rewarded with. When it is your name on the door, you get a lot of credit, but when there is no money in the bank, people are knocking on your door as well. That is the yin and yang of this business, being a designer, which is whom I see myself as when I close my eyes, when you are a president or sole designer of a brand, you receive all the accolades- the positive and negative things do fall on your shoulders.

What advice would you give someone trying to break into this field?

Number one- do what you love! Because if you are doing what you love, when it becomes challenging, it won’t seem as though it is challenging. The one thing helps you to sleep at night, is knowing you do what you do because you love it. Most people spend 8 hours a day not really doing what they love or what they want to do, even if its challenging in anyway, whether its from a business perspective, in fashion we can play, just as we were when we were kids, you get to play and express yourself. I am a glass half full kind of person.

How important are personal contacts in order to advance in your profession?

Actually, contacts are everything! Absolutely. I cannot think of an opportunity that hasn’t come through a personal connection, not necessarily all about who you are know because you have to be able to deliver. But I have never gotten a job through a headhunter, and always had opportunities come by way through strong networking. I believe personal contacts are extremely vital and it takes much energy in a fair and honest, straightforward way as it does in an opposite way- a good standard to uphold is key in this business.

If you could go back and do something differently in your career, what would that be?

I would have interned more. Why? Because I would have learned more form other peoples experience and when you are young, you have a naivety that can actually get you to places, because you don’t know what you don’t know. When I was in college, I had a little bit of arrogance, I wanted to do things MY way and I didn’t necessarily learn through other situations. If I went back to college again, I would definitely have more internships and learned the business a little more.

What projects would you like to work on, before the end of your career?

When I was 26, I remember a guy came to sell me a pension plan and he asked me when I was planning to retire; I simply responded with, “I never want to retire”. I just never saw myself as retiring and I will keep doing this until nobody wants me to anymore. I designed toys, sneakers, fragrance, I wrote a book, and I am completely open and interested in doing more. I am always open for new projects!

How do you go about setting your professional goals?

I list, I always write things down and find it fascinating to look back and see what I have written and what things actually end up coming true. I love that and I believe in making lists and putting your desires out in the universe, as cliché as that is, but it is a way of highlight what you want to do and making things happen. And the things that don’t happen aren’t meant to happen. I am in San Francisco now, didn’t know this was a place I’d be, but I am very happy to be here and its all part of the journey of life and you kind of have to go with the flow.

What is your advice about handling failure or rejection as a professional?

Get up and dust yourself off. Go at it again. You will get loads of rejections. For some reason the other day, I came across a few chat rooms, I read comment after comment from kids critiquing my toy heads that I had produced, and they were brutal, very negative, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You can’t let negativity bother you, people are always going to have an opinion, they may not like the shoes you are wearing today, but as long as there is no physical damage done to you, you just have to have thick skin.

Any other things that you would like to add that may have not been covered?

Fashion is one of those things; it is not purely about the art anymore. In fashion, it is art meets commerce, not many designers, brands, manufacturers, etc. get into this industry to make one thing, and you make stuff for people to wear. When you have been involved in product categories that people wear and you see someone wearing something you’ve designed- it is quite amazing, to be recognized for the fashions you’ve created and to be stopped by individuals on the streets, it is really great.

lay it on me

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word layer? Heavy comes to my mind. This is something the majority of women in fashion want to avoid, the look of added weight, but in a rare case like this; Nika Tang took layering to a place of ethereal beauty and no one was shying away from it.

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Voluminous ruffles, fringe detailing, macramé surfaces, and a pattern exuding an underwater wanderlust, Academy of Art graduate student captures your attention. To design a collection of such oversized form and organic structure is quite the challenge, but Tang rose to the highest peak. It is a risk; with knowing the average fashion female wants a silhouette to show her assets off leading more toward body con pieces, but this collection surmounts any second skin.

As an emerging designer showcasing your personal design aesthetic probably seems daunting, but Nika Tang mastered a collection of authenticity and quality craftsmanship that couldn’t go unnoticed. Designer Tang proclaims she didn’t even add her best piece to the collection, honestly, how much better could it get?

words seem unnecessary

I believe the beauty in fashion truly lies in personal aesthetic, the way each individual chooses to portray themselves to the world around them is something I’ve always found intriguing. Developing a sense of style may seem challenging to some and for the select few it is a natural part of their daily life, as for Miroslava Duma, it is clearly intuitive.

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The Digital Media Director for Buro247 and a style influencer of our zeitgeist, this lady possesses a fashion sense that is undoubtedly aspirational, one that doesn’t need spoken words to give it validity. Just one quick look, your caught; captivated in her quality of taste in clothing, the ideal juxtaposed pairing of classicism meets chic, femininity mixed with the perfect amount of edge- effortless. Or it seems to be that way and as far as I am concerned, it is this way for her.

As an aspiring trend consultant and an infatuate of the fashion industry, I like to think I share some qualities with Ms. Duma. I was given a special trait that allows for dressing my body to be of something enjoyable, a window for experimentation that I look forward to on a regular basis. I gravitate to unique pieces, whether colorful or monochromatic, fitted or full of sequins, I can relate to her mix-match fashion behavior. Her confidence radiates conveying to us that she loves what she is wearing, but the designers never wear her. Easy, right?

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