Interview with Fashion Designer Gabriel Salcedo | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Fashion

Gabriel Salcedo's Designs Elevate Modern Luxury

Gabriel Salcedo's pieces can easily be mixed and matched.
Gabriel Salcedo's pieces can easily be mixed and matched. Photo by Oscar Jordan/Ken Rodriguez
When asked where his fashion inspiration stems from, one of the contributing factors Gabriel Salcedo mentions is the Eastbay catalogue. Purchased by Foot Locker in 1997 (and recently sold), the catalogue showcased everything from the latest to vintage sneakers, all available to order by mail. As someone who always had an eye for longevity, Salcedo knew which designs were worth copping.

Now, the Dominican-American, Miami-based fashion designer blends design and longevity through his modern and luxurious self-titled brand, Gabriel Salcedo.

"I always take that direction when I make something. I don't want to make something that is great today, and then like next summer, it's over," Salcedo says.

Born and raised in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood, Salcedo's earliest fashion inspiration came from his passion for a good statement piece from the 1980s and '90s. From Jon Bon Jovi's leather black jacket to the teenagers he saw traversing the city with untamed hair and matching style and people like his cousin who brought out his favorite leather jacket every winter.

"It always stuck with me because he was like, 'Yo, I got this jacket for X amount of years,'" Salcedo recalls. "It always stuck with me that when people buy pieces, these things will last from the closet forever; it's not a trendy thing."

After finishing middle school, Salcedo's parents relocated to South Florida. In New York City, Salcedo was accustomed to everyone wearing vintage Jordans and Timbs and felt like Miami was invariably behind on the latest trends. "After my sophomore year, everyone would be like, 'Oh, he's like the fashion kid,'" he says. "These kids would be like, 'What sneakers should I get?' So I became a free stylist unwillingly."

Arranging pieces together to create an aesthetic comes easily to Salcedo, something that's reflected in his designs. Though his collection is limited, each item can be worn in many different ways by both women and men. Salcedo creates elevated looks using neutral hues that still come across as "modern luxury."

The collection consists of cream and white long-sleeve button-ups, nylon shorts, Italian wool trousers, denim pieces, and, his most favored piece, a varsity jacket made of Italian wool with Italian lambskin. His initials are emblazoned on the left side of the jacket, while "Salcedo University" runs across the back.

Everything comes together to give the wearer an uncluttered look — something for the Miamian on the go. And at a time when the fashion industry consistently pays homage to business attire, Salcedo elevates his designs with accessories like a beige scarf, black leather hats, and high-top sneakers.

"One of my goals is when everybody gets dressed, and they're wearing my pieces, I don't want you to overthink it," Salcedo explains. "I think a lot of people have closets, and they don't have characteristics. That stops you in a lot of ways from getting ready because it adds too much time."

Salcedo wants customers to focus more on what they feel when wearing his pieces versus displaying a brand logo. He encourages people not to depend on the volume of a logo but instead to focus on clothes made for their bodies. The genderless nature of Salcedo's clothing is perhaps its most compelling point. Whether pairing his linen button-up with matching trousers for menswear or tucking the shirt in a pair of denim high-waisted jeans on a woman, its versatility sends a strong message.

"My approach is how would I look good in clothes but women look better in it," Salcedo explains. "It's anti-Miami because there's so much skin because the weather is so warm, but I want the clients that are women to wear me and feel so empowered that men are scared to talk to them."
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