Interview with Miami Fashion Designer Dope Tavio

There are numerous sights to consider in for the duration of a late-night outing on…

There are numerous sights to consider in for the duration of a late-night outing on NE 11th Avenue. Nonetheless Club Space’s veteran doorman, Alan T, and equally his brio and dazzling wardrobe are at the epicenter.

Cuffed in ruffles, laced in levels, and garbed in an asymmetrical blazer on New Year’s Eve, his ensemble seems to be countless. And when it will come to these puffy, outsized assertion items, there is only just one designer Alan T (AKA Alan Tibaldeo) thinks of getting in touch with: Dope Tavio (AKA Octavio Aguilar).

Born and raised in New Jersey to Puerto Rican mothers and fathers, Aguilar was indoctrinated into the famous New York Town clubbing scene that laid an early blueprint to his artistic schema.

“I was an NYC club kid,” Aguilar tells New Periods. “I received to be a part of the nightlife scene, and that influenced my function for a long time to arrive. Folks get it when they see my work: New York with an infused hip-hop, clubbing, punk-rock vibe.”

His items are frequently colossal and ruffled, primarily black and white, and handmade with stitched-together dynamism that could resemble a prototype to conformist bashing punk little ones or euphoria-surging ravers. Stripes and polka dots are prevalent motifs. The clothing is sculptural — using the overall body as a construction for his warped genderless patterns.

“Aside from a number of close friends, the garments is accomplished by me,” he adds. “I divide time between earning items totally from scratch and upcycle vintage pants and blazers. I can chop a blazer into 20 items and use every single piece for distinct objects.”

Smooth-spoken with a vibrant purple mustache, Aguilar moved to Miami in 2004. He was by now a trend designer up north, but the Magic City’s unlimited summer time ethos bulwarked his creative imagination.

“I correct away identified there is no vogue here except I have a bikini line,” Aguilar laments.” I took a hiatus from designing, and it wasn’t until maybe 5 years ago when I made a decision to start sewing all over again.”

All through the gap, he worked at the significant-close Brazilian home furnishings organization Artefacto, which he left to come to be an interior designer prior to returning to style. Aguilar started stitching and sewing for enjoyment and posted a couple creations on Instagram. Then a stylist on the lookout for pieces for Erykah Badu attained out.

“This was basically a few months from me deciding to get started stitching again,” he provides.

Aguilar sent the stylist some parts, which Badu wore to the 2016 Soul Train New music Awards.

Before long the 42-12 months-aged began sending parts to Madonna and Janet Jackson’s group, scratching them off his folks-to-costume bucket list just in advance of trend designer Patricia Fields picked him up.

“I bought to be a portion of her artwork gallery in New York,” Aguilar states. “Just after she closed her shop, she preferred to stay on line to function some of her curated artists, and I ended up getting one of them.”

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Dope Tavio’s pop-up shop at 125 E. Flagler St.

Photo by Christian Torres

Aguilar will be initial to confess his styles are not for the daily Miamian. The items are as well significant for the warmth, too monotone for the honey-mango aesthetic, and deficiency a tight match.

“It truly is not a Miami vibe — at all,” he confesses. “I think the ideal time I do company below is during Art Basel and Winter Tunes Competition — each time the out-of-towners are below.”

Aguilar’s types a person-of-a-kind statement parts, regardless of whether for a hip-hop artist in will need of a wardrobe for a tunes movie or Alan T on Thursday.

“I met him right before his to start with transfer again to New York Town,” Tibaldeo recalls. “We turned truly shut. His things is one particular of a variety it can be a complete embodiment of a lifestyle. When I moved, he did my inside. It’s hard stuff to make, and he is there doing it all.”

During Miami Art Week past December, authentic estate and expense firm Mana Group established him up with a momentary storefront at 125 E. Flagler St. to showcase his function. The pop-up, which will shut later on this month, is draped in his creations as well as a lot more ready-to-have on “Dope Tavio” t-shirts and other brands.

“Mana loved what I introduced to downtown, and they’re presenting me a complete-time house,” he suggests. “Which is heading to materialize soon after the new yr.”

You also may possibly acknowledge Aguilar as a contestant on last year’s year of Task Runway.

Venture Runway contacted me and wished to do an audition. Every little thing was performed on Skype and Zoom [due to the pandemic],” he points out.

Despite a yearlong production hold off, Aguilar manufactured it through 8 episodes and never ever broke his range-one particular rule: Generally continue to keep to his design — no matter the challenge.

“I walked in with my head up superior and remaining with my head up high,” he suggests.

Aguilar’s time in entrance of the cameras isn’t around. Future year, he’ll be the concentration of a documentary by filmmaker Pedro Gonzales titled Dope Tavio. Initially a quick student film, Gonzales is now producing a full-size feature that will go over Aguilar’s lifetime and use his decades of video footage as a conduit to tell the narrative.

“I want to inspire the homosexual Latino boy that wants to be a designer — or anybody, seriously,” Aguilar suggests. “I want to inspire the misfits and the club children that never match in.”