Interview by Melanie Gropler

And the winner is… Daniel Silverstain! NY-based womenswear designer is this year’s winner of Gen Art Fresh Faces In Fashion. His designs for summer 2016 that were showcased during NYFW as part of three finalists who made the cut from over 1000 entries worldwide convinced the jury with innovative denim pieces inspired by architecture, industrial design and futurism. “I like playing with denim and transform it to pieces we don't usually see in ordinary closets”, he stated. Here, Daniel Silverstain explains his passion for denim and where he wants to lead his label in the future.

Many Congratulation to you, Daniel! You won this year’s Gen Art Fresh Faces In Fashion Award. What does this award mean for you and your work?
Thank you Melanie! This award is huge step-up for the brand and myself. It is a stamp-proof that all I have done so far was right, and it is being recognized by major leaders in the industry. This is a major platform for us to present the brand to the industry as a leading voice with the support of an incredible organization that stands behind us.

In your designs you are playing with forms and materials. What is your source of inspiration?
I like to travel in time, where ideas of futurism hit certain place or culture, reshaped the way people think, and brought sense of optimism for a greater future. "Retro-futurism" would be the best word to describe the essence of our inspiration. Back in the past there was an inspirational optimistic outlook of our future.  And I would like to bring this attitude back to our modern life today.

Why do you work with denim for your designs? What makes denim so interesting for you to work with?
I find denim a very grounding material which all of us can relate to. Since we love combining luxury textiles together with high-tech fabrics, Denim always brings the designs down to earth. Additionally, I like playing with denim and transform it to pieces we don't usually see in ordinary closets. It is always fascinating to take materials that are so common and translate them to high-end fashion.

award winning collection of designer Daniel Silverstain, by Nir Arieli
award winning collection of designer Daniel Silverstain, by Nir Arieli

Will you continue working with denim or was it just an exception?
This specific Pre-Fall 2016 Collection was very denim focused like we never done before. We left most of the denim Raw / Unwashed, and gave it fringe finish on all edges. Obviously we had to bring the signature "silver" in by coating the denim with Metallic paint. We will definitely continue play with Denim in future collection. It is an essential fabric in everyone's closets, and technology keeps evolving, which allows us to fins new techniques to apply on denim. Besides - it is so comfortable, easy to wash, and when it gets distressed it is still relevant, so I don't see any reason to let denim go any time soon.

Where do you want to go with your collection? Where do you want to position your label?
I would love to explore the accessories and footwear categories. We are known for having a very unique aesthetic that identifies our brand, and i believe the next big things would be to start and explore the accessories world, and complete a total look of our DS woman. Menswear is on my mind as well. I think the menswear market is still evolving and there is a lot of untapped possibilities to explore there. It would be amazing to explore the DS man customer, and I have a feeling it will happen in the near future.
As a brand we focus on the luxury market, with development and production solely made in New York. I feel like the industry lost its excitement somewhere and became very cubical in the way it thinks. The luxury market, beyond being a certain price point, should offer something you can't find in lower price point stores, and present fresh ideas. This is something I stand for very strongly and I always focus on creating garments that people can feel unique in, and therefore are worth the price they spend for it.

What are the next big trends for winter 2016?
I would say Chevron prints are having a big comeback in all sizes and shapes. Bonded fabrics are very strong right now. I see every type of fabric, from silk, wool, denim and leather bonding to a different material.

Credit: Pictures by Nir Arieli