Fashionista: You were recently accepted into the CFDA Incubator Program. Deets please.
DV: I’m so, so grateful, I can’t even tell you. It’s a huge opportunity, it’s insane. In an analogy, before, I felt like I was singing a really good song to an auditorium filled with friends and family. Now that I have the CFDA on my forehead, I’m singing the same song–it might be a little more finely tuned–but now the auditorium is starting to fill with people who can really make a difference in my career. So that’s how I sort of equate this. Like, Daniel, stay focused, keep the vision the same, keep the point of view strong, and basically just keep going, because now I have a wider set of resources.
Fashionista: It sounds like a huge relief!
DV: Definitely. I’ve probably gotten $50,000 of free consulting, it’s amazing. And the mentors are so generous and giving. If you’re like, let’s do this, they’re right there with you. We literally got 23 new stores in one season. I mean that’s huge. The program goes for four six-month terms. Each term, as an individual business owner, I choose whatever focus I want to focus on. So it could be anything from, hey CFDA, I’m having trouble with branding. I’m having trouble with production. I’m having a trademark issue in China. I want to open my first store in SoHo. Whatever it is in the scope of business, they’ll team you with four to five mentors who are experts within that field.
Fashionista: Has it been a challenge standing out in the industry as a young designer?
DV: You know, there’s just so much shit in the industry. There’s 300 shows in New York, and there’s so many press releases that go out and there’s so many red carpet events and everyone is considered a celebrity nowadays—I mean, you know! It’s insane, that’s the only word. INSANE. So, here I am, I love what I do, I love my clothes, and I’m trying to dress what we internally have dubbed the ‘whiskey-drinking perfectionist.’ A cool tomboy who can roll with the boys but always looks put together. For us, it was just about continuing to find her at every level: The customer level, the celebrity level, and that’s tricky because so many celebs nowadays don’t have personal style, their stylists have personal style. And that’s not something we’ve ever chased, dressing a celebrity just for the sake of dressing a celebrity. We’re always about relationships.
Fashionista: Let’s talk Emma Stone–she’s been a big fan, which is obviously huge for you. How did this happen? Was it a surprise to you? Did she just start wearing your stuff or…?