With exhibits in major galleries, museums, and magazines, artist Nicolas Felizola has been likened to a modern Da Vinci. An accomplished photographer, fashion designer, and attorney, he has been named one of the 100 Most Outstanding Artists of the 21st Century.
While photographing events and designs for fashion designers like Gucci and Givenchy, Felizola realized his deepest passion was fashion design. He was inspired by those around him to follow his instincts for color and design – which turned out to be valuable advice: Felizola quickly became one of the most progressive fashion designers in the world. Understated elegance and glamour are the hallmarks of Felizola’s work. His style is unique, with a signature image always bearing his personal touch.
Felizola has been honored twice by Tiffany & Co. for his Privé and Uomo collections and has received the Murano Zanetti Award in Italy. He has been featured in Forbes magazine’s Young Fashion Designers; recognized as one of the 10 most influential Hispanic designers in the United States and has shared the stage with Escada, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, and Dior.
Upscale Living magazine caught up with Felizola to discuss his latest designs.
TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I was born and raised in Valle de La Pascua, Venezuela and studied at the Santa Maria University of Law School in Caracas Venezuela.
WHAT/WHO INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE SUCH ELEGANT AND GLAMOROUS COLLECTIONS?
I have different forms of inspiration; for example, my CINETIQUE collection, a reverence to the world of kinetic movement, originated in Paris by great teachers of their time such as Carlos Cruz Diez. They served as a foundation and inspiration to me: Conceptualizing in their different facets as the artist of the photographic lens, of fashion couture and of unique decorative pieces for the home. I offer my own version of a kinetic [energy] for the 21st century. CINETIQUE transports us with its encircling magic lines that fuse in a focal point to emphasize the delicate female silhouette.
YOU HAVE BEEN A PHOTOGRAPHER FOR INTERNATIONAL DESIGNERS SUCH AS GUCCI AND GIVENCHY. COULD YOU SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH THEM?
It was an experience of knowing that I was grateful to live through. My personal experience with my camera and the lights reflected off the fabrics, textures, and colors have permitted me to perfect my craft and allowed me to create those award-winning red carpet pieces.
UPSCALE LIVING MAGAZINE HAD THE HONOR TO BE THE FIRST LUXURY MAGAZINE TO SHOWCASE YOUR 2013 COLLECTION. COULD YOU TELL US WHAT YOUR VISION WAS IN CREATING SUCH A FEMININE, GLAMOROUS AND FABULOUS COUTURE?
Mooi is the new collection inspired by Vermeer and Rembrandt. These 17th-century Dutch painter’s contributions to art came in a period that historians called the Dutch Golden Age. The end result was richly varied handling of paint and deeply layered.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO NEW, UPCOMING FASHION DESIGNERS?
Uniqueness is the key and is loyal to your desire of expression. Never copy anyone else!
DO YOU FEEL THAT YO HAVE DESIGNED A “FAVORITE” COLLECTION THAT IS DEAR TO YOUR HEART?
Every single one of my creations is a sacred piece of the inspiration that came to me at that specific moment. I consider myself an artist and when making a unique design I don’t want to lose that link or connection with the piece I envisioned by replicating it. I think that when you commercialize the art you lose the magic and the sanctified inspiration of it and you just become another brand.
BEING A PERFECTIONIST AND HAVING AN EYE FOR DESIGN, WHAT ARE YOUR ATTRIBUTES IN PUTTING TOGETHER A FASHION DESIGN THAT DIFFERS FROM THE REST, BUT KEEPS YOUR FANS GASPING AT THE SITE OF THEM?
I, as an artist, has a very special vision of life: I feel, see, and smell every color, everything surrounding me, the textures I touch – all have a source of inspiration. I simply inhale and exhale with the art in my life because to me beauty, glamour, and elegance are my perfect muse.
WHAT ARE YOUR INSPIRATIONS?
I have admired many of the classic fashion icons through different decades such as Grace Kelly, Jackie O., and Audrey Hepburn, among others. What I admire most is the sense of elegance in a woman who expresses her personality with her individual, timeless style.
BEING A TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHER, GLAMOROUS DESIGNER, AND AN ATTORNEY MUST KEEP YOU BUSY CONSTANTLY. HOW DO YOU JUGGLE EACH AND STILL COME UP WITH ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL WORKS OF ART?
The path I took to get here is what helped me get to my calling. I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life because through designing I have fulfilled my love of artistic expression!