Welcome to our series, Hello Denver, My Name is… where we profile people in Denver that you probably don’t know — but should. Get ready to meet painters, dancers, comedians, musicians, designers and just generally fascinating people that help make this city awesome.
Alejandro Gaeta is a self-taught Denver fashion designer. He knew he wanted to take part in this industry when he moved to the Mile High City just over two years ago. Gaeta chose his designer name, Alejandro Gaeta from his middle name, Alejandro, and his grandmother’s last maiden name, Gaeta. His grandmother was not only his sewing teacher and mentor, but a mother to him as well. “I didn’t want to pick something with no sentimental value,” expressed Gaeta. “It was perfect when I knew I’d carry her close to me — even if she was miles away. Moreover, there wouldn’t be Alejandro if it weren’t for her.”
Gaeta dives into opportunities in Denver. “People here are very encouraging — and for that I am grateful. I have been able to express myself through my clothing — and as a designer. It’s a dream come true,” explained Gaeta.
Denver, meet Alejandro.
“Alejandro came from a mind of dreams and doubts. Through everything, I fought to believe in myself. I trust anyone can become what they desire. All in all, you have to believe in yourself — even when others don’t,” said Gaeta.
As a young child, Gaeta looked to fashion to open doors to a multitude of creative outlets. His first memory related to fashion was when he would play dress-up with his cousins and youngest sister. “Because my grandmother worked as a professional seamstress for 30 years, there was always fabric in our house. She would bring home leftover fabric pieces and I would make these massive ‘gowns’ these little girls could barely walk in! In my mind, I thought it was a beautiful thing,” explained Gaeta.
“The first dress I ever made was for my youngest sister’s senior prom. For me, it was such a big accomplishment because I had never made an entire gown. I guess you can say that was my pivotal moment — she looked stunning. It was at that time I realized this is what I was born to do. After the fact, I worked with a few people and continued to create all kinds of different pieces. Thanks to the support and words of encouragement I received from those around me, I realized I could literally create anything from scratch,” expressed Gaeta.
Denver’s prominent fashion scene allows for individuals of all talents and ideas to explore what sets their souls on fire. Encouragement and constant support from those who care about Gaeta most — including his father, grandmother and husband — motivated him to become the creator he is today. His love and support from family is a constant reminder of his many capabilities.
This year, Gaeta’s first collection will come to life. Although not every step of the process proved easy to manage, it showed him different versions of himself along the way. Inspiration for artists can come from many outlets and hold sentimental values. According to Gaeta, his inspiration comes from many places including his grandmother’s old school glam — a chic and confident woman and the elegance that is Alejandro Gaeta. With these outlets, he can explore projects outside his realm.
“For my next collection, I plan to dive a bit deeper into my aesthetic. Furthermore, I want to try new ideas, colors and textures. It will be bold and beautiful,” said Gaeta.
He continued, “I started sketching and playing with different looks months ago. To see it all come to life, piece by piece is mind-blowing.”
In the world of fashion, there are many notable figures to look up to. Designers have a unique sense of what it means to be daring and empowering across multiple facets. Christian Siriano, Michael Costello, Jean Paul Gaultier and Thierry Mugler are some of Gaeta’s favorite designers. He is inspired by them in more ways than one.
“I love how fresh and young Siriano and Costello’s fashion is. As a young designer, I relate to them and their designs. On the other hand, Gaultier and Freddy’s style is different, unique and bold. These designers are not afraid to step out of the box with their creations which is empowering to me. Furthermore, it motivates me to take the ‘crazy’ ideas out of my mind and create something that perhaps nobody has seen,” explained Gaeta.
In the next five to 10 years, Gaeta hopes to further his involvement in both the fashion industry and community. He wants to ensure anyone feels like their authentic selves through his works of art. Additionally, his father and grandmother are of utmost importance in his life. He would like to honor them through his hard work and life lessons taught to him throughout his journey.
“I would love the opportunity to compete in Project Runway because it would give me the opportunity to show the world what I can do. Longterm, I would eventually love to take my brand international. I want the world to know who I am and recognize my clothes on another person,” Gaeta expressed. “Moreover, I want to see my designs on red carpet events both big and small. Last, but not least, I want to continue to inspire other dreamers to believe in themselves. Never let the world dim your light and kill your inspirations.”
With Denver Fashion Week back again next year, Gaeta would love to be a part of Denver Fashion Week Spring ’21. He hopes and dreams to show the Denver community what it means personally to take part in this exciting industry.
Photography by Madison McMullen
Location provided by Cafe Du Coco
Hair by Vanessa Whitmarsh
Makeup by Iryna Katina
Creative team lead and stylist Cruz Arias