Elena Velez is an American fashion designer and artist, raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and now based in Brooklyn, New York. Of Puerto Rican heritage, Ms. Velez speaks to the industrial nature of her upbringing as the only child to a single mother ship captain on the Great Lakes as an influence on her creative identity.
Her work is known for its non-traditional synthesis of metalwork and high fashion. First gaining viral notoriety on the VFiles season 10 runway, the brand made its first official NYFW debut in September 2021. In 2019, Ms. Velez’s work was exhibited as a Teen Vogue Generation Next designer curated by then Editor in Chief, Lindsey Peoples Wagner, and Vogue’s Anna Wintour. In 2022, she was a winner of the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund and in the same year took home Emerging Designer of the Year at the CFDA Awards. In 2023, she was inducted as a member of the CFDA. Her proudest work so far has been with midwestern makers to democratize resources and recognition for artists outside of traditional creative capitals.
Ms. Velez studied at Parsons Paris and graduated from Parsons School of Design with a bachelor of fine arts in fashion design and a minor in creative entrepreneurship. Additionally, she earned a graduate diploma in fashion design from Central Saint Martins.