Spring 2016

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174 Venice scar Carvallo lives by a special motto: No goal, no life. "The only formula to get to where you want to go is by setting goals and working on them until you reach them," he says. "Once you do, there will always be a new goal to achieve." It's hard to argue with the Parisian-based couture designer, especially after all he's accomplished both on and off the runway. Funny thing is, Carvallo's foray in fashion almost didn't happen. Born into a family of lawyers in Caracas, Venezuela, Carvallo initially pursued the legal field for what he defines as a "formal career." However, it was during this time he found his true calling—and it had very little to do with the courtroom. "During my third year of law school, I realized fashion was going to be my life," Carvallo says. "When I graduated, I wanted to make my hobby into my career." After earning his law degree in 1991, Carvallo began interning under France's elite fashion designer Guy Meliet, who passed away just a few months later. Carvallo then opened his own atelier in Caracas, hiring several members from Meliet's team. Despite successes that included exporting his collection to big- name retailers in North America, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Carvallo felt the need to pursue a formal education in fashion design. He applied to Domus Academy in Milan, where he was admitted to the school's scholarship program. Carvallo graduated in 2001 with a master's in design, which he says was the true beginning of his international career. Carvallo's unique designs, which have been inspired by a mixture of the sea, surrealist artists such as Salvador Dalí and films such as Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," have been acknowledged at some of the most prestigious fashion shows during Haute Couture Week in Paris. His collections have also been featured in British Vogue; and in Paris' fashionable circles, he's considered a household name. But his popularity doesn't stop there. Hollywood's biggest celebrities have also been known to wear Carvallo's designs. He has dressed stars such as Oscar winner Hilary Swank, Rosamund Pike of "Gone Girl" fame and award-winning French actress Isabelle Adjani. "Fashion is my passion," Carvallo says. "It is the only way to work in this business. You have to have a big passion for creation." Currently, Carvallo's home base is France, where he is widely recognized for his theatrical looks and feminine designs. But there's no need to fly to Paris to see Carvallo's passion; he recently opened a boutique in Miami's Design District. Aside from being the brand's flagship store, the new space showcases his latest haute couture collection, his first pret-a-porter collection and Carvallo's accessories line. White walls paired with floor-to-ceiling windows make for a clean setup, while exposed beams and Carvallo's bold, colorful pieces hanging throughout give it an edgy vibe. "I chose Miami because I wanted to get closer to both Latin America and the United States," Carvallo says. "This city has become an international melting pot and is the ideal place to start this new endeavor." While Carvallo's accomplishments are impressive, what is truly admirable about him is his love for creation and his drive to succeed. No goal, no life? Not a problem for this designer. v Paris-based designer Oscar Carvallo talks fashion, goals and Miami. BY CARISSA CHESANEK PHOTOGRAPHY BY FORMENTO AND FORMENTO GETTING CANDID COUTURE CORNER A household name in Parisian fashion circles, designer Oscar Carvallo brings his collection to his new Miami boutique. O

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