Daniel Vosovic may be most familiar to you from season 2 of Project Runway. We caught up with him to find out his favorite fashion trend, proudest moment as a designer, and more.
Tell me about the collection you are launching on Rent the Runway.
I’ve always been inspired by survivors – the concept of strong, intelligent women fighting for what they believe. After watching Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (after years of goading by friends who knew I would love it) and consequently becoming obsessed with Elizabeth Taylor’s portrayal of the wickedly harsh, and seemingly strong, Martha, I began to think how a woman like that would fair in other scenarios. A trip out to Portland, OR to see some friends soon stoked my creativity and the concept of her in a camping trip gone wrong soon germinated into a full-blown concept: forest fires, animal attacks, mudslides and more! The belief that this woman would never give up, never give-in to defeat despite the odds against her continue to be an on-going theme in much of my work. A short film we shot was the immediate precursor to the runway show, a glimpse into a fictional scenario that led immediately into the real-life incarnations walking the runway… it was just fantastic to see in-person.
What is something you dream of achieving but haven’t yet?
I know this may sound horribly weird, but at some point in my life (maybe before I’m 40) I want to be left on an island for two or three weeks, on my own, with just the most basic of necessities to see how I would fair. I’d be charged with building my own shelter, getting my own food and water, and more. I’ve been lucky enough to have only had a few moments of “fight or flight” experiences in my life and I’ve been proud of how I’ve reacted in all of them, but this test would really be just for me; I want to test my body and my intellect to see if I could do it. Granted, I would keep a cell phone as a just in case because I know my mother would kill me if she heard that I was planning to do this.
How would you describe your own style?
What is your favorite fashion trend right now?
Well, as I just said, I love “casual minimalism” so everyone’s current obsession with Celine is all good for me.
What was your proudest moment as a designer?
Having this 20-something girl come up to me in the middle of a dance floor years ago and telling me that she had bought one of my coats. I was hot and sweaty (and looking terribly un-chic) but I still remember how earnest she was when telling me that it was her absolute favorite piece of clothing she had ever owned, and that she was really proud of me for following my dream.
That’s also one of my favorite “living in NYC” stories…
If you could give advice to aspiring designers, what would it be?
After years of being asked this question I decided to write a book to help with the answers. It’s so difficult to give just a sound bite, but since this is not the time, I’ll simply say to build the strongest, deepest support group around you that you can. Have it be filled with people who love and support you, but will also knock you around when you need it. My immediate and extended teams have already done so much for me, I don’t know how I will ever repay them.