Miami designer Luis Valenzuela showcases new designs at Sustainatopia 2011.
Hailing from four generations of Venezuelan born and bred artists, Miami fashion designer and visual artist Luis Valenzuela is influential in the U.S., Latin American and European art scenes. Like his painting and art installations, his couture fashion creations express a love of environment that Valenzuela says were piqued as early as three from watching his surrounding environment morph and change.
Today, his work represents a flight from traditional boundaries, with projects supporting his belief in innovation as a tool in cultivation and improvement of the way we live on the planet. “Art is a great way to shock people into thinking about things,” says Valenzuela, which he does with his signature reuse style.
In addition to his work in fashion, art and photography, Valenzuela created EcoArtFashion (EAF), a group of creatives whose focus is to bring forward ideas from art and fashion based on a heightened eco-consciousness, particularly the reuse of materials. Through this fashionable reuse concept, Valenzuela hosts a multitude of events, including EcoArtFashion Week (launched during Art Basel 2010 in Miami).
On April 3, Valenzuela’s work will be featured in Miami at Sustainatopia 2011, one of the largest sustainability/impact investment events in the world. Held from March 31 to April 6, Sustainatopia is featuring two conferences with 300 speakers from 34 countries. The stage will be set for a presentation of Valenzuela’s gowns, which are made of recycled materials and are inspired by women who have made a powerful impact on world history. This presentation will be paired with a performance by Natasha Tsakos, a conceptual director and motion and visual performance artist from Geneva, Switzerland.
A key initiative of Sustainatopia is to connect impact investors with entrepreneurs and organizations seeking capital, but there are many other events taking place during the week to promote sustainability in the form of art expositions, educational seminars, music and film presentations, and book discussions with participating authors.
Valenzuela says the eco art and fashion scene in Miami is growing, but, “We have to do more every day.” When I asked him about the further development of the green art community he has set in motion through EAF, he reflects. “I am a dreamer, but with focus on a good cause. I want to encourage everyone to use their skills to support this global mission in bringing balance to our environment, ultimately affecting each and every person inside and out.”
For more information on Luis Valenzuela’s ongoing work through the EcoArtFashion initiative, please visit the EAF site to see the full calendar of events planned for the entire month of April (Earth Month 2011), taking place throughout Miami and New York.
Image: Luis Valenzuela