Phoenix Fashion Week, the leading fashion industry event in the Southwest, returns Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 at Chateau Luxe. Meet participating designer Gabriel Majalca of GEMIFLY, a Phoenix-based brand with exclusive crystal kicks for sneaker culture.
Follow at: @gemiflyofficial
Your first fashion job: My first fashion job was at age 20 assisting with professional costume design and stage fittings at the Gaslight Costume Shoppe in Tucson. It’s one of the most well-known dinner theater companies in the Southwest and is where I learned the foundations of design.
How would you describe your style? My personal style reflects my Gemini personality to a T: comfortable at both ends of the fashion spectrum. At times, my outfits can be loud, consisting of bright colors and big graphics, matching head-to-toe. At other times, I prefer my shoes do all the talking: wearing monotone tops and bottoms paired with visually stimulating hype kicks. I appreciate simplicity and extreme detail. I believe this fact plays well into GEMIFLY the brand because some clients want loud, while others want simple. Either way, I’m here for it.
When did you know you had a passion for fashion? I’m not so much into fashion as I’m into style. Style is timeless and is something I inherently understand. I believe fashion is a byproduct of style – the two are, in fact, mutually exclusive.
Your biggest fashion accomplishment so far and why? The most rewarding moment of my career is anytime I see a client wearing my designs. More notably, George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic wore a pair of GEMIFLY Shine Goggles during the final stretch of his farewell tour in 2019. A few months later, he surprised us all by wearing them to Paris Fashion Week for the unveiling of his SACAI collaboration, sitting alongside legendary super model Naomi Campbell and other fashion royalty.
The biggest obstacle you overcame? The biggest obstacle we’ve had to overcome thus far is the internal struggle that occurs when things don’t go as planned. I can think of a handful of major deals that fell apart after the product was 100 percent complete and safely delivered. Weeks of detailed design work has been thwarted by unforeseen circumstance completely out of our control. As a perfectionist, moments like these can leave a bad taste in your mouth. It will inevitably make you second guess yourself. But there’s a silver lining: all of that negative energy ceases to exist when things do go right. It’s not all bad and not all good. It kind of reminds me of the old saying, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
A designer who inspires you and why? In terms of influence, I study a lot to jewelers. One of my favorites right now is Ben Baller of IF & Co., based in Los Angeles. Amazing work. However, my true inspirations come from all of my fellow PHXFW emerging designers. I look up to everyone involved in this program because of their tenacity and determination to see their vision through
Advice for someone pursuing a career in fashion as a designer? If you aspire to become a legitimate fashion designer, my advice would be to look in the mirror and decide, do I truly want this or not? If so, start immediately. You must dig deep and remain stubbornly persistent until it happens. In my case, I set my very first jewel eight years ago and only now do I feel like I’ve reached the starting line. Sometimes it takes that long so be prepared for a marathon and start running.
What can fans expect to see from your collection in October? You can expect to see the flyest crystal showstoppers on the Phoenix Fashion Week runway. We’ll be collaborating with the Southwest’s top emerging designers on everything from hype shoes to apparel. GEMIFLY will also be doing an exclusive pop-up shop on both nights where you can browse and purchase inventory or reserve custom crystal kicks with me, onsite. Can’t wait to meet you all!
See this runway brand in person! Purchase tickets for Phoenix Fashion Week 2023 at eventbrite.com. Use promo code FABAZ for a $25 gift card.