He’s only 27 years old, but Adolfo Sanchez knows high-end fashion and is passionate about making his clothing line a household name.
“I want to empower women through my clothes to make them feel sexy, confident and sophisticated,” says the Orange County, California native, who now designs women’s wear under a self-titled clothing line. As a teenager, Sanchez was a regular on the club circuit and says the exposure to extreme fashion – think spikes and plenty of drama – schooled him on fashion as a means of individual expression. With an interest in clothing and a need for pocket-money, Sanchez began working his way up the social ranks of retail, employed first as a salesman at a local department store and eventually becoming top-earning employee at a Versace boutique at just 18-years-old.
“While I was working there, I really started to analyze the garments; looking at them inside out to understand construction,” recalls the Mexican-American designer. “I learned about pricing, fabric and details – all factors that lead me to understand design.”
Earning a reputation as a highly personable and successful employee within the retail industry, Sanchez eventually transferred from the Versace boutique in Orange County to Las Vegas, Nevada. While in Las Vegas working at Carolina Herrera, he designed his first dress for an editorial photo shoot coordinated by a friend.
“I wasn’t a designer, just learning to sew at that point,” said Sanchez, who chuckled recalling that first dress, which he says was taped and glued together. “I didn’t care about getting paid – that first dress was all about having my dreams realized in a dress.”
That was only eight years ago, and since then Sanchez – the youngest of four children – has turned his hobby of creating beautiful, innovative pieces into a career as a full-fledged fashion designer. He’s in New York showing his modern designs as part of the lineup at NOLCHA Fashion Week, a showcase of young up and coming designers.
“I’ve never had an investor and my family is working class,” says Adolfo, who launched his line in 2008 and has grown his brand to include evening, day, ready to wear, bridal and fur-trimmed outerwear alongside couture. “My father taught me if you want something, you work every single hour of the day towards that goal – and that’s what keeps me going.”
With several boutiques in Los Angeles, Canada and nearly 25 online stores carrying his brand, Sanchez says his full potential on the world of fashion has yet to be realized.
“My clothing is edgy, fitted, sophisticated but really beautiful,” says Sanchez, who counts the late designer Alexander McQueen as his inspiration.
And with his latest collection – titled “A Rose in the Jungle,” which incorporates exotic snakeskin, croc-embossed leather, floral prints and fitted silk – it’s clear he continue to moves his creative vision forward.
“I’m always growing as a designer and the world has yet to really see what I have to offer.”