KRELwear designer Karelle Levy talks with Ladygunn

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KRELwear designer Karelle Levy has just opened a Pop-Up Studio in the West Village this week! She was just in town for her fashion exhibit at the MTV Skin’s party and decided to stay in NY for a little extra fun in the snow. Her designs and knits are amazing and she has garnered praise from the fashion world as well as from major celebs such as Pop Icon Nicki Minaj. Check out Nicki wearing KRELwear and also our Q+A with Karelle Levy below!

LG:What inspires the collections? Is there one long running theme in all your designs?
KL: Each collection has a different story, based on my life experiences.The Spring 2010 Collection, DiscGlo,  is based on Miami’s club culture and all about going from Night to Day, with KREL’s original style of all one-of-a-kind knit garments that are very colorful and playful.  It also has an exciting twist- through the use of technologically advanced yarns that react to Black light and glow in the dark. The DiscGlo Collection has 3 different perspectives for looking: regular lighting, black light, and no light.
The one thing that is constant in the collection is the construction- which is knit.
LG: What are some of your favorite pieces in your closet?
KL: I’m a big lover of vintage clothing and I made a man’s sweater years ago using light blue yarns and grey fire retardant yarns with some shredding… its the one sweater I would kill for if someone stole it.
LG: How do your customers respond to being able to wear the same garment in more than one way?
KL: They enjoy the versatility- most pieces have no front or back- some have no top of bottom, others can be worn inside out.  Some people even wear them to bed, since they are so comfortable.
LG: In your mind what kind of person wears KRELwear?
KL: Someone fun-loving, confident and sexy
LG: The DiscoGlo collection is so bright, fun and alien like! What made you conceive of the collection?
KL: A few things influenced my collection.  I was working with the artists TM Sisters on costuming their performance “Whirl Crash Go”  and they work with florescence and neon lights.  The costumes were a major inspiration although as the collection grew the ideas morphed and became more experimental and I channeled my past-  bringing in plastic yarns and elastics to stiffen and change the shapes.  This collection was a breath of fresh air for me.
LG: Who would you love to design for?
KL: I would love to design for musicians and movies.  I’m open to work with all kinds of artists and people.
LG: What designers do you look up to?
KL: I like looking at other designers work, I don’t believe I’m really influences so much by them as much as I appreciate their work.  The ones I watch are:
Galliano, Gautier, McQueen (RIP) , Chanel ( I love Karl), Missoni…
LG: How do you feel when the fashion industry compares KRELwear to Missoni?
KL: I’m flattered! I love Missoni and hope to one day be considered at their caliber!
LG: How much do you think about sustainability when you are designing?
KL: I make all of my own fabrics and control my buying of materials to a minimum.  I don’t believe in waste and so though my KREL 2 go project I use many of past collection fabrics as well as small runs of new ones to create custom clothing on the spot.  The remnants of those pieces turned into soft sculptures.  Most of my materials are cottons, rayons and bamboos, but I do incorporate metalllics and specialty yarns that are plastic-based. I believe its how you use the materials, not just the materials being used.
LG: Where is the most fashionable place you can think of?
KL: Every place in the world has its own fashion sense.  Miami is great for color and skin, New York is neutrals and shape, Stockholm is for edge, and Tokyo is for funk.

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