DT: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? And some highlights in your career? Please name drop (laughs).
AA: The Adrian Alicea brand represents an orgy of defiance. Absolution without the fear of retribution.
“The temerity of Adrian Alicea is only surpassed by the precise execution of his vision. Adrian Alicea is a new romantic of romantic excesses. Creating a pirate-like fairy-tale of disguises, he walks a tightrope between ironic hedonistic inclination and highly serious commentary. There is an insane carcinogenic, merciless narcissism. There is a deafening, endless shout of “gimme more!” – Earl Murray
My inspiration comes from my strong familial roots in Puerto Rico. The essence of my beautiful mother is etched into every design I make. I was also blessed with nine sisters of whom have provided me with the depth of understanding the female form. I was first discovered at the iconic nightclub, “The Tunnel,” by Rae Dawn Chong who invited [me] to walk for Thierry Mugler’s couture show in Paris. From there, my career took off; and, with persistent effort, [ I ] continued working with the masters of Europe: Hermes, Giorgio Armani, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Gianfranco Ferre, Vivienne Westwood, and Patricia Fields and graced the stage with notable supermodels: Iman, Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, Debra Shaw, and Veruschka von Lehndorff, to name a few. I have also been featured on the cover of Italian Vogue, and have had editorial spreads in major publications like Vibe.
I also toured the world as a professional dancer alongside the legendary Willi Ninja and Grace Jones. This led to two electrifying performances in “Deep in Vogue” and “Waltz Darling” by the multi-talented Malcolm McClaren. This video is currently featured in the CAMP Expedition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan, New York, and was presented with the Emerging New Designer Award at the Cinema Film Fashion Awards 2017, Beverly Hills, California, alongside Akon, Sidney Poitier, and Samuel L. Jackson.
I have had the honor to style and dress the likes of many A-List celebrities. Larisa Martine (of whom shared the stage with Grammy Award Winner, Joshua Bell at the 60th Lincoln Center Anniversary hosted by Neil Patrick Harris) wore one of [my] stunning designs. I have also dressed and styled celebrities like Zoe Saldana and Nick Cannon. The House of Alicea was born out of my lifetime love affair with Avant-garde fashion and the purest freedom of an artist.
I was blessed with the innate ability to forge a cult-like dance of the obscure bathed in overt obscenity and emblazoned in provocative aggression dripping in hedonistic ecstasy.
DT: Why is it important to have diversity in the beauty and fashion industries?
AA: It is very important because we are so controlled by society to follow the herd and we are judged for exhibiting personal expression.
DT: Have you seen shifts in the last decade?
AA: Yes, there have been many shifts that tend to teeter back and forth in the fashion industry – some good and some bad. The fashion industry as a whole has become commercial, and lackluster (at best) with mass-produced designs. I appreciate designers that have a style all of their own and have the power to push and transform this industry into a living breathing artistic forms that grace the stage. My designs bring forth an explosive amalgamation of emotions that will take your breath away and leaving you screaming for more.
DT: In a perfect world, what would be an ideal evolution in the industries of beauty and fashion?
AA: The perfect world would be a place where everyone is free to rule in a fluid unorthodox manner. Fashion and style should inspire everyone to exude their inner love for art through their own perspectives without fear of social judgment.
DT: Do you realize that your presence in the industry, inspires many people around the world?
AA: That is a resounding yes. I have had the honor and privilege to inspire young men and women to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and explore their inner creativity and passions in this industry as free artists.
DT: What advice would you give your younger self?
AA: My advice would be, “to learn more while you are younger and make better strategic decisions based upon stronger business acumen and mentorship from senior leaders in this industry.”
DT: Are you living your purpose?
AA: Absolutely! I follow my heart and passion to create beautiful art that can be adorned by men and women all over the world. It makes me feel warm inside to see how people react when they try on my hand-made, one-of-a-kind, couture creations.
DT: Finish this sentence, “I am grateful for…”
AA: “I am eternally grateful for the love of my parents of whom are my direct lifeline to God. I am grateful that I grew up alongside nine beautiful sisters and two beautiful brothers which gave me my deepest soulful inspiration as a child. I am grateful to all who gave me my start in this industry and for the people who helped me discover my gift and believed in me while allowing me to evolve through the world of high fashion and dance. I am grateful for people like Thierry Mugler that took me to Paris and gave me my first start in fashion at the age of 21. I am also grateful for the gift to be able to create without patterns and the ruler in my eye that allows me to create something amazingly beautiful by hands with fabric and tulle like a sculptor with clay. This innovative art form brings out the sexually provocative nature that is inherent in every human being. The raw expressive primitive need to explore your deepest darkest places in the subconscious corners of the mind.”
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