You may remember back in September, when I posted about Charlotte Fashion Week (Part 1) I mentioned designer Juan Rivera being one of my favorite designers of the night. He closed out the final two nights as a matter of fact! His designs were breathtaking and unique, but he also had such a great energy about him! I was able to connect with Juan afterwards both nights and I got to learn about him! I am happy to be able to share his story with you today!
We want pictures of it, Juan! xD
All kidding aside, Juan's family and friends are close knit. In fact, he dedicated the Galeria Dalia line to his late mother and his Juan Jose Style line to his brother. He also met many close friends when he moved to Los Angelas at 14 to attend school, and he is still close with many of them to this day. "Behind the scenes I have a huge group of people supporting me," he told me. "Starting with my loving husband and my amazing siblings!"
Juan went on to say that another big influence comes from his brother. "My youngest sibling has a great vision in how he wants to be seen by the world, and I make it happen," Juan told me. Those maybe the two biggest influences for Juan but he finds inspiration in a plethora of other things like aromas, paintings, passed experiences, and textures.
Next Juan visualizes what he wants. "Ideas will pop into my head when I least expect it. Sometimes it is in a dream or a phrase I hear." What surprised me to hear is that Juan does not sketch! Well rarely anyway. "I hardly ever sketch; all the ideas are in my head." In my opinion that just makes his designs all that more impressive and personal. You're seeing/getting designs straight from Juan's own imagination. It hasn't been seen or altered by outside influences/opinions. It is a genuine, Jone-of-a-kind Juan Rivera piece!
So, how long did it take to bring his visions to life? "These last two lines; Galleria Dalia and Juan Jose Style took about three months," he explained, "we created about thirty-six looks." Unfortunately, due to things outside of his control, not all of designs made it to the runway.
That's okay Juan! I visualize us becoming good friends and one day having lunch and you'll show me all the never-before-seen looks! How's that sound? ;)
I had to know how those moments felt for him! "It was very exciting to see the line on the runway," he smiled, "It was a dream come true! My family and my country were so proud of me, it made me smile big!"
At the end of the day, most would agree that the show was a rousing success for Juan. But that does not mean it was not without its' fair share of hiccups. Even those did not get Juan down though. Instead, he turned those hiccups into learning experiences. "I learned that I can only control what's under my control. I learned to trust my instincts and to not let people push their agenda on me," he told me. Wise words! Those are things I still struggle with from time to time, so hearing that really spoke to me.
I feel certain this is a goal you are going to meet, Juan! I really loved seeing your designs at Fashion Week and I am so glad to have gotten to know you better for this post! I cannot wait to see more from you! You've got a friend in me! =)
If you want to see more from Juan, you can follow him on Instagram at Juanjosestyle!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did! =)