LA-based fashion designer Vanessa Alonso has been obsessed with funky fashion since she was a kid, and is now dressing and styling some of the music world’s biggest names, with two clothing lines under her belt with partner ton …and she’s only 26. We recently invaded her inbox with some questions about her very cool job …and a few just about her and what she’s into. Read on, and scroll through the images for a taste of van van’s style.
Name: Vanessa Alonso, aka van van
Age: 26 añitos, y bien vividos
Roots: Half Cuban, half Mexican… ajuaaa coñooo!
Where do you live now? L.A
Where are you answering these questions from? My studio
Occupation: Fashion designer/stylist/creative director.
Tell my about your lines ton y van van and Notavaz.
Notavaz is [ton’s and my] lower line, which we started in 2002 for the young hipsterish crowd. The line targets ages 15-35. it’s basic, bold and super stylish. Prices range from $60-500.
ton Y van van is our higher end line, it’s definitely still very young and hip but with a more sophisticated feel. it targets ages 35 till
your in you grave lol. prices range from $150-1,200.
What are your current projects?
Everything right now it’s pretty interesting. My partner ton and I decided to take our careers to another level, separately. So I’ve been working on some pretty amazing projects on my own. It’s fun and exciting to see what ton does on his own, and I’m always amazed. We support each other 110%. We do occasionally work together for some projects when requested, because people just can never get enough of ton Y van van.
When did you start making clothes?
When I was in fourth grade, I always wanted to wear the hippest clothing and shoes, so I would accessorize my outfits with the most random things. For example, I would wear infinite amounts of shoe laces on my head tied like a head band. I would cut my shirts and paint flowers, moons and stars on them with neon puffy paint… Jesus, it was funny, now that I remember it.
What/who is your inspiration? My daughter
Where were you and what were you doing 5 years ago?
I was working… God, I’m always working!!…I wanna say 5 yrs ago I was working on taking our [with Ton Aguilar] lower line Notavaz, which at the time was only a t-shirt line, to another level, meaning we started working on actual garments.
Is the fashion world all glamour and glitz?
Oh God, hell no… It’s stress, mad people who are obsessed with creativity, and stubborn minds trying to work together. It can get pretty ugly, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Any star-struck moments when working with famous people?
I’ve worked with A LOT of celebrities and I build the most amazing relationships with them all, and to be honest, I have to say it’s because I’m not star-struck at all… I’m chill and I treat everyone the same; after all, it’s all business to me.
Current obsessions/addictions: Sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll!
Recent musical discovery:
Los Punkitos… I’m obsessed. The little girl is the inspiration to my new line…check them out!
Last book you read: Cien Años de Soledad, again… amazing book!
Do you have any tattoos?
Yes, surprisingly I only have two… A calavera on my back and “drugs, money. bitches, alcohol” on my arm.
Where would we find you on a Saturday afternoon? If I’m lucky, home, resting and painting..
Tips for looking hot on a budget/during the recession?
Thrift store shopping is amazing when in a budget! You can find anything from an amazing pear of shoes made in china for 2 dollars to a 60 dollar designer jacket in a heartbeat!
Anything else you’d like to add? Que viva Remezcla!
For more on van van, visit www.modelmayhem.com/vanvan