Photography: Anton Vega
Beauty: Sara Seis
Born in Boston, raised in Puerto Rico and currently based in New York City, designer Dee Serret’s game of geographical hop scotch has equipped him with all the necessary tools needed to launch his own line this past S/S ’16 rollout at NYFW.
Soon after finishing his bachelor’s degree in fashion, he sold everything he had and made the move to NYC, where he continues to carve out his own space in the fashion world, offering a fresh brand of clothing that stems from his education in architecture and incorporates an affinity for the unconventional.
BULLETT sat down the designer-on-the-rise to ask him about his multi-faceted background, his friendship with model and muse Richie Moo, and what story he wants to tell through clothes.
Tell us a bit about your upbringing.
“I was very young—a baby you might say. I was always creating. I used to take things around the house that caught my eye and transform it into something completely new. I believe I was heavily inspired by my obsession with Legos as a child.”
You studied architecture for three years. How has this influenced your work?
“My first three years of college I studied architecture, but I figured out I was not fulfilled completely with what I was doing. You can see a lot of architecture influence in my work—it speaks for itself. [Architecture] helped me to be more daring with my creations, mixing ideas together, but to still have a profound meaning [and] inspiration behind every design I’ve made.”
How was your brand received in Puerto Rico?
“I was expecting all types of reactions when I presented for Puerto Rico High Fashion Week. My first collection, ‘Gluttony,’ was mostly met by praise, and other local designers complimenting my show felt really good. Still there’s always people who don’t understand your vision and your different point of view and they start to judge you, but this is because they are living inside a bubble and don’t know anything besides what they ‘know.’ They were classifying my designs as not ready-to-wear.”
What made you set your sights on New York City?
“I always wanted to move to New York City—it’s the city of dreams. I was going through a hard moment in my life. A lot of different emotions entwined at the same time, but as soon I finished my bachelor’s degree in fashion I sold everything and booked a flight. Like a lot of Puerto Ricans these days, I went in search of my nirvana and knew if I was serious, this was the place to try my luck. It took me almost a year after moving here, but I got back on my feet and started working on my designs again. That’s how ‘Odd Kôrvid’ came along, my latest collection.”
What themes or motifs inspired your current collection?
“My last collection that I presented here for NYFW this SS ’16 is called ‘Odd Kôrvid.’ It’s a fantasy story—a raven wanting to be different from its kind and wanting to create a change, evolving into something different and beautiful. Basically it’s the struggle that we’ve all felt somehow—always in search of acceptance or belonging [and] leaving behind a mark.”
What do you want your clothes to communicate about you the most?
“I want people to embrace themselves and feel powerful, making them feel comfortable with who they really are and how amazing they look.”
Tell us about your relationship with Richie Moo.
“Thanks to Richie, I am who I am today. Our relationship is everything—perfectly beautiful. We’re best friends ’til the end. It’s funny how we met; we had friends in common. I remember his friends didn’t like me at all, so he decided not to like me. But after a while, we started talking more and getting to know each other until we clicked. We found out we shared the same dreams and goals for our life. Because of him I started studying fashion.”
What is it about Richie that facilitates your creative drive?
“Everything. The way he is, his beautiful mind. He always wanted to be more—to be only him anywhere he went. I love that about him. He suddenly became my muse and I started to dress him and make outfits not just for wearing, but also sharing. We put our minds together, worked for ourselves and slowly started sharing our vision to everyone.”