Today we’d like to introduce you to Eli Delafuente.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Eli. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
From the get-go, hands on work has always been my thing. Clothing wasn’t something I considered growing up, my passion comes from construction & deconstruction of anything. My first medium were cars, building cars, welding, engine work, electrical, you name it. High school was filled with automotive craze with a creative itch. Ultimately after HS, I went the automotive route and ended up as a BMW master technician. By the age of 26, I was done filling the Void to create, with things other than creating. So I made a career change. I sold my race car and anything to do with it, from that I was able to fund this career change/gamble along with working a full-time job at BMW as technician.
Then I taught myself everything I could about clothing, not fashion! Like pattern making, sewing machines, garment construction, how to sew, etc. Ended up gutting my bedroom and created my first sew room. Bought myself a pull out bed, which I stored in the closet in order to maximize space in my room to fit more machines (Obsessive mentally man). Shortly after, I moved my sew room to the LA Arts District and began to create my first collection which failed, haha. Then three years, 13 machines and many silk shirts later, I upgraded to a bigger studio where we currently do everything in house; design, pattern make, sample sew, production, shipping, you name it. I pride myself on doing everything in house, not all by me anymore, but my team. It’s important to the brand ethos that it’s hands-on by us and we continue to keep it that way. Five years in total, I’m still at, still learning, still curious!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Hell nooooo, but I love that I’m able to say it hasn’t been all smooth sailing, I don’t mind taking a solid hit on the chin, all in means of sharing a good life story. Unfortunately, not all stories can be told through text, but this industry is filled with many different characters, broken promises, heavy investments with even bigger losses which have made this journey very challenging at times, but I wouldn’t have any other way.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Man, I’m just here to make Men & Women feel confident by creating products in whatever shape it takes.
Our main differentiator is the construction of our t-shirts and button-downs, I created this finish called the SILK SEAM FINISH, which means that the interior seam of all of our shirts have a 100% silk piece covering it, and you can always identify us by that going down the back or all around the armhole seam. It’s something so small but speaks volume when held and worn. You won’t find this finish on anything else in the market, UNLESS……..
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Making a full 180 career change
- Website: WWW.DELAFUENTE.CO
- Email: INFO@DELAFUENTE.CO
- Instagram: DELAFUENTE.CO
Lenny Kravitz, Grabbitz, Stylist: Jordanmaiava