Lisu Vega – The Miami-based designer who is disrupting South Florida’s fashion scene
“A different type of protest”, that is how Miami-based designer, Lisu Vega, has categorized her latest fashion-art project. Over the last couple of years, the world has witnessed disastrous national and international events that have challenged the peace of mind of many individuals. One of these is the on-going political crisis in Venezuela, which has escalated to unparalleled violence. Such violence has caused the death of more than 90 people, just in the last couple of weeks. With such outrageous numbers, it is easy to understand how people related to this country have tried to find a way to express their emotions and take a stand.
It was here where Lisu Vega decided to use fashion as an outlet for her emotions. The artist developed a fashion-art-social project named “Resistencia” (“Resistance”), in order to protest and condemn the civil rights violations committed in Venezuela, the country where she grew up. The collection was inspired by the by the strength of Venezuelan people, who have been marching in the streets for months. The pieces show printed images of the protests, the crisis lived, and names of the people who have died for the cause. The models walked down the catwalk with printed scarves that covered their faces, just as young protesters do, in order to keep their identity safe and avoid persecution from the regime. “Resistencia” has received acclamation in the United States as well as in other countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Argentina among others.
Nevertheless, this type of reaction is not uncommon for Vega, who started her career as a plastic artist back in her home country of Venezuela. With a natural eye for design, Lisu became known for her singular creations, which explored different art languages such as graphic art. It was this graphic art influence that eventually translated into textile patterns which the designer later implemented in her first fashion pieces. As a teenager, the artist moved to her place of birth, the city of Miami, where she started to develop textile patterns and pieces that followed her life experiences and often recreated situations she was enduring.
As a way of expression, she says, Lisu created prints that usually came from a place of catharsis. The graphics and silhouettes represented in the designer’s garments embody an artistic spirit, usually referred by Lisu as “wearable art”. Vega defines her creations as “fashion-art projects” which come from a place of concept, investigation and creativity. The development of each collection is unique and embodies a particular phase in the designer’s life. With this, Lisu Vega has launched several comprehensive proposals to the Anglo-market, which earned her the respect and admiration of people in the Art and Fashion industry.
Her design aesthetic consists on simple silhouettes that stand out by an intricate textile design. Such designs range from colorful sublimated pieces, to 3-D hand-knitted trims. The fabric preferred by the designer include high quality knits such as medium weight neoprene. She also produces her line in the United States and strives to use up-cycled goods. Lisu also focused her attention on the development of a 100% organic accessory line, which was inspired by the art of recycling. The designer has also played with the development of “wearable art” accessories like hand-knitted headpieces and, most recently, hand-shaped acrylic bangles.
Vega has showcased her designs in runway shows which include New York Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week, Fashion’s Night Out, Salon LEXUS, Cotton 24 Hours, and Tulsa Fashion Week, among others. In 2014, during that year’s edition of Miami Fashion Week, Vega won first prize of the Eastern Air Lines Flight Attendant Uniform Competition, becoming the head Designer of the airline. Lisu is also known for creating a unique catwalk experience, usually developing one of a kind pieces that are only produced for the shows. An example of this are her over-sized bloody tear glasses, used in the showcase of her collection “La Historia de el Ojo” (“The History of the Eye”), which the designer developed after being diagnosed with an eye glaucoma.
Besides these fashion showcases, Lisu has also been featured in museums like the Art Store of MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art of North Miami) and the MACZUL (Museum of Contemporary Art of Zulia). Moreover, the designer also counts with publication editorials such as Ocean Drive Magazine, Venue Magazine, Tinsel Tokyo Magazine, Complot Magazine, Vogue Magazine and Innova Magazine as well as major nationwide tv channels like Fashion TV, E! Entertainment, Cosmopolitan TV, AFP, NBC News, Univision, Telemundo and CNN en Español.
Her Clothing Lines and Accessories are available at her e-store, www.lisuvega.com, and in exclusive locations in USA (New York, Miami, Los Angeles), Panama, Venezuela and Brasil.Despite her big international success, Vega has stayed humble and close to her roots, embracing her indigenous heritage by implementing ethnic color combinations that transport people to another world. Most recently, the designer launched her latest ready-to-wear collection “Furia” (“Fury”) which mixed her signature draped silhouettes with a 3-D textile print.
Visual artist, textile & fashion designer and activist. Lisu Vega proves that you can be successful even if you don’t follow the rules. Defying the status quo and being true to herself has made Vega a fashion industry rebel and a constant in the Miami fashion scene. “When art and fashion are part of your life, you create a statement” says Vega. Indeed, the designer keeps creating statements, proving her talent by each collection delivered.
Photos by: Simon Soong, Humberto Vidal & The Louis Collection
By Pily Montiel