The Colorado fashion scene triumphs creativity yet lacks a designer accustomed to making extravagant heels. That’s where Carlos Valles comes in – a Denver-based designer who creates platform heels like the ones we see Lady Gaga showing off.
Currently, Valles is in the midst of redefining his brand. Once known as Art by Carlos Valles, his shoe line is morphing into a completely new persona. This new image is known as Syren Labs, which will launch later this year and be showcased at New York Fashion Week on September 11 and 12.
In 2010, Valles’ fashion journey began when he started posting Youtube videos in hopes of recreating some of Lady Gaga’s platform heels. He had just graduated from the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD) and did not have the resources to create shoes at that level. However, after creating some videos outlining his vision, views on uploads to his YouTube channel began to increase drastically. One video, in particular, reached over 3 million views.
These initial designs incorporated “things that I just found around the house or anything, and from there, I kind of just sparked this idea of using what I have … I loved the feeling I got of kind of shocking people in a good way,” he said.
Valles’ elaborate shoe designs start with a sketch based on the theme or vision he is trying to accomplish. An important aspect in designing shoes is determining whether the shoe itself will be wearable. Therefore, the process itself is very intricate.
Valles has designed several collections prior to shaping his brand into Syren Labs. “Killer Kouture” included outfits based on his favorite horror movies, followed by “Men 4 Breakfast.” In designing this collection, “I kind of wanted to give the viewer something completely different than what they saw for Killer [Kouture] because it was very dark and edgy and with Men 4 Breakfast, it was kind of more pink and floral and sorority girls,” he said.
The Men 4 Breakfast line comprised of feminine looks with bright colors and a playful essence. In the video that Valles created to debut the collection, models walked into a house and were met by a completely different scene. Elaborate and scandalous outfits showcasing utensils, breakfast foods, teeth and more. “That kind of plays on like that we do different things behind closed doors, that we don’t want the public to see,” Valles said on his aim for the collection and video’s message.
Under the name Syren Labs, Valles is hoping to focus on making custom shoes for clients. In January of 2020, he was invited to attend New York Fashion Week and due to the pandemic, the show was postponed. Now set to take place in September, Valles will be attending the world-renowned show with a collection of shoes that he has been working on diligently. He plans for his show to feature simple dresses with the shoes as a focal point of each look.
As for the future of his career and Syren Labs, Valles hopes to focus on performance shoes for celebrities, drag queens and entertainers alike. “I want to treat the customer as a very exclusive piece. So I want them to be able to feel like ‘This is my shoe and it was custom made for me,’” he said.
Syren Labs will be shown at New York Fashion Week. Information on the show can be found below:
SHOW DATE: Saturday, September 11th, 2021
Bryant Park Hotel
The Loft (25th Floor) and the Terrace Loft (24th Floor)
40 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018
PRIVATE INVITED SHOW GUEST LIST ONLY SEATS FOR THE DESIGNER SHOWCASE.
SHOW DATE: Sunday, September 12th, 2021
526 West 26th Street – #315
New York, NY 10001
Gallery District in New York
PRIVATE INVITED SHOW GUEST LIST AND LIMITED ADVANCE BAR-CODE PUBLIC SHOW SEATS AVAILABLE AND CAN ONLY BE ACQUIRED ONLINE FOR EACH DESIGNER SHOWCASE.