High-end men's clothing store J.S. Edwards is hosting a public appearance by designer Daniel Dulce at their retail location (1809 Reisterstown Rd., Pikesville, 410-635-2266) tomorrow from 10-5. Daniel Dulce was born and raised in Havre de Grace and now works in New York City. The designer will be speaking about his newest collection including unique men’s dress shirts, neckwear, cufflinks and mufflers, and will also be available for one-on-one personalized fashion consultations. Also on hand will be eye-candy spokesmodel for the line Daniel Dulce Italy and Afghan War veteran Shane Duffy.
Intern Jessica Hargest spoke with the designer:
How did you first venture into the fashion industry? I was 7 years old when my mother opened a ladies clothing store in Havre de Grace. I grew up in her store and that is how I became interested in fashion. Then when I was 20 years old, as a sophomore at Washington College in Chestertown, I started my first job at Hamburger’s Department Store. I have been in NYC since 1973 and started as an assistant buyer, then buyer, and eventually became the fashion director at May Department Stores.
What advice would you give someone from Maryland trying to get a start in fashion? If you are interested in the creative aspect of fashion, go to a fashion design or an art school. If you are interested in the business end, just get your MBA. What melds them together is the ability to make a product that will sell well. However, you have to be able to first come up with a great product.
What is your favorite aspect of designing? It is a combination of fabric, color and pattern. Not just one thing. A culmination of beauty and being able to translate it into fabric then cut the silhouette. With shirts, the fit is absolutely crucial! With ties it is proportion. Cuff links (which is a specialty of Daniel Dolce) it is the beauty of the stone, the beauty of the coloration. Using unique types of color combinations and mixing them, like raspberry pink and marigold… Aesthetic compatibility between all products that have my name on them.
What did you want to convey through your latest collection? Your inspiration? I think that with everything I do, in high price men’s wear, it’s an evolutionary process not a revolutionary process. When I’m designing I’m not coming up with the next big idea, but progressing to new colorations and patterns. I am making additions to wardrobes that with last a lifetime.
Who is your primary clientele? My guy already has a sense of fashion. My guy understands himself. My guy can effortlessly put an outfit together, an outfit that is aesthetically pleasing without looking canned.
Do you have a favorite story since your start as a designer? I was the first designer to hire an Afghan War veteran as my model, Shane Duffy. Now he is a top model. I had no idea about his previous profession when I met him at a rooftop party hosted by a well known fashion photographer in Brooklyn. This stunningly beautiful woman walked up to me and said, "I’d like you to meet my boyfriend. He is a model." I thought "Oh God, not another one." But I was polite and asked him to come by the following Monday and bring his portfolio. Now he is the spokesperson for the line.
After living in New York for so long what is your opinion/memories of Baltimore? I love Baltimore! I went to McDonough for a number of years and graduated high school from West Nottingham Academy. I still even own a home in Havre de Grace. Faidley’s in Lexington Market, I still tell people that there is nothing else like it in the world! Obrycki’s still has the best crab cakes. And Edgar Allen Poe … my heart will always be in Baltimore.