Elena velez

Grey Sheep


new york / united states


central saint martins/ parsons the new school for design

Graduation year


A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Elena is a recent graduate of Parsons School of Design and central saint martin's with a dual focus on fashion design and creative entrepreneurship. Recently named by i-D magazine as one of 'five under-the-radar designers to discover at NYFW', her BFA thesis collection was shown in September of 2018 at both New York Fashion Week, under the mentorship of VFiles, and London Fashion Week, as a guest of the Swedish Fashion Council. Dressing celebrities like Solange, Grimes, Charli XCX, and Brooke Candy, her most recent collaborations include custom tour looks for the Kali Uchis, Arianna Grande, and Halsey. Teen Vogue's 2019 Generation Next designer, Elena's work has been featured in BoF, WWD, Office Magazine, Vice Media, Paper Magazine, multiple Vogues worldwide, and Dazed & Confused. Her work has taken her around the world from Paris, Sydney, New York, and London.

Inspired by the traditions and crafts of her industrial lakeside community, Elena’s work incorporates an appreciation for the artisanal heritage of the American midwest, epitomized by the metalsmith industry, a historically iconic trademark of her hometown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Through an aggressively delicate aesthetic signature, Elena designs with the tactile sensibility of a maker who prioritizes functionality and utility over perfection or beauty, investigating the relationship between femininity and force. A proponent of authentic process and creativity under constraint, her collections often incorporate found, salvaged, and site-specific materiality.

Elena’s brand mission centers on the pillars of sustainability, self sufficiency, and authentic co-design. At the core is a call for urgency in the democratization of creative capital in the U.S. through the empowerment of young professionals in underserved artistic communities like her own. Through mentorship, collaboration, accessibility, and skill sharing, necessary social connections can be strengthened. Elena aspires to lead a quietly conscious fashion label that rejects current industry conventions of excess, exclusion, and geographical condescension, while stressing authentic process, community engagement, and compelling storytelling as ultimate remedy.

info@elenavelez.com | www.elenavelez.com | @_elenavelez

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