Tell us a little about you -
My name is J.V.S. I'm a Dominican Republic Creative Director and Designer based out of N.Y.C., creating a voice for Latinx and other women of color in an industry that men mostly dominate. I run my own fashion brand in the last year of my B.F.A. Being the only girl in my household, growing up with older brothers and cousins helped shape my style. Sneakers and hip-hop have always been the foundation of who I am. I always wanted to be the latest like them. They always had the newest jordans and Nikes while listening to the newest rap albums. I've been an active sneakerhead since I was 16 when I got my first check and bought myself a pair of banned Jordan 1s, which I still have and consider my grail.
What would it look like if somebody made a J.V.S. starter kit meme?
My starter kit would consist of a basic crop top with oversized distressed jeans or cargos with a pair of Jordan 3s or 4s. Styled with gold hoop earrings and a necklace. I always carry my film camera, which is my most important accessory.
Talk about Reveur; what inspired you to start your brand?
I started Rêveur back in 2019. Rêveur is French for a dreamer or idealist. My mission statement is to inspire the youth of this generation to remain true to themselves. I create all designs, mockups, and website designs, and plan photoshoots myself. I was always into streetwear and sneakers culture before I knew there was a name for it, but it wasn't until 2016 that I started designing my pieces. The lack of quality women's streetwear brands inspired me to create my brand. Shopping in the men's section gets annoying because things tend to look too boxy, too big, or too loose at the waist. I want to create pieces everyone can feel comfortable in, made to fit anyone's body, regardless of sexual orientation or shape. With my brand, I want to make timeless luxury pieces that people will pass to their friends or loved ones.
Who are some of the women that influence your fashion journey? And your life path in general?
Aleali May is one of my favorite women's fashion influences. I love what she has done with Jordan Brand. She makes sneakers that women want to go out and buy. Many brands tend to throw women into a sexist stereotype that we always wish for bright pink colorways or some form of animal print, while men's sneakers get some of the best designs. It is important to have a woman, especially a woman of color, be in these spaces, creating a voice for us in these design meetings. I believe she influenced and changed perspectives of how people see women in streetwear. We are here and here to stay. Another one of my strong influences is Renell Medrano, a Dominican Republic creative from The Bronx. She has inspired me past fashion into her film photography work as well. Seeing another Dominican woman's pictures cover billboards in the L.E.S. and seeing her work receive the recognition she deserves is inspiring. I know someone like me is doing exactly what I want to do. This is why representation in this industry is so important for the next generation of designers, photographers, artists etc.
Finally, I saved the best for last. My mom is the most important and influential person in my life. She is the reason I started making clothes and where I am today. My mom never tried to fit me in a box or tried to control my future. As a kid, she always let me dress myself even though I was a big "tomboy" she always gave me pointers on how to style myself so that I still look "girly" at the same time, which is important to my style 'till this day. My mom has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and everything my heart desires which is something I cherish every day, knowing I have such a strong support system in my life.
Women are highly influential in sneaker and streetwear culture, but men primarily dominate ownership; how does this juxtaposition impact you?
This has only motivated me to go harder because now people see that we are just as influential and important to sneaker and streetwear culture as the next man in the room. I want to create a voice and be a representation for my sisters, young girls, and women so that we can impact and be a part of these primarily male-dominated spaces, not just in fashion. When I first started creating and designing, I was nervous that people wouldn't respect my artistic visions or clothing, being that I am a Dominican woman; but once you believe in yourself, the rest of the world will follow. Believing in yourself is one of the most important lessons I have learned so far, and it is what will truly take you far in being an artist. Don't let anyone undermine you or put you in a box because of your sex or skin color.
What are you looking forward to? (What's next for you)
This year I will be graduating with my B.F.A. and releasing my first cut and sew collection that I've been working on for almost 2 years. The collection features pieces ranging from pants and tops to accessories. This will be my most extensive collection, and I can't wait to release something I created myself, starting from the sketches, sourcing fabrics, and samples to the final pieces. My new collection reflects my growth; you can see the progress I've made compared to my clothes from 2019. Since then, I've continued to learn more about myself, my brand, and the ins and outs of being a fashion designer.
To keep up to date with all my releases and work, you can follow me at @ineedreveur and @justlikejvs on Instagram.