DAVIDE Denim Takeover
By Jailynne Estevez Nolasco '21
Having studied in India before arriving at Bennington College, Davide Yepes knew his calling was at a small school. With the original thought to study Theatre and Anthropology, Yepes now finds himself a senior at Bennington, with a Plan in creative entrepreneurship, which consists of economics, business, and art.
With the assistance of students at Bennington, the DAVIDE Denim Fashion Show was a success. Yepes stated, “The models had fun, the crew had fun, it was a group thing. People helped with the planning and the music, and it was really a collaboration.”
The secret idea behind the show was to depict an underground college student ecstasy, a culture that is young and adventurous, showing the experience of going on new adventures and trying new things.
The DAVIDE Denim line focuses on androgynous styles that fit both male and female, playing with the idea of going out of the norm. Experiencing Fashion Week in NYC and Colombia, from the age of 14 Yepes has been inspired by designers who challenge conventions. DAVIDE Denim challenges the materials normally used for jackets. Yepes explains how the inspiration for the clothing was always experimenting with colors. Denim jackets normally have stitches which are one color, while his denim line can have up to three colors in the stitching, bringing a new personality to denim jackets. Each jacket is derived from a different idea, ranging from simple to wild. But what brings them all together is the three main materials used: vinyl, plastic, and mesh. Taking a course called “Movement, Lights, and Clothes” helped Yepes cultivate the use of different materials for the show. Yepes used three colors: white, yellow, and light blue. The materials used are not common in the market, which makes people rethink the idea of the jacket. The resources that Bennington offered, such as a key to the costume shop, the ability to work at late hours, and the space for producing a fashion show served as tools for Yepes to make the show happen.
Yepes explains that a key part of the DNA of the brand is how it will be a community-based company where everyone receives fair wages. Although it increases the price of the item, every employee can have a part in the company and work towards the same goal. This is how the jackets for the line were made.
Keeping a journal always packed with to-do lists, and long-term and short-term goals, Yepes is an organized person who plans for the future. This Field Work Term, he will be continuing his independent research for DAVIDE Denim in New York City.
When Yepes moved from Colombia to Costa Rica because of the war and drug cartels, he had to give up the life he had always known. Growing up watching his parents work hard––mother in the fashion industry and father in construction––instilled in him a passion for how architecture and fashion connected.
“My memories were not of wanting toys, but of playing with fabrics. I was so passionate about seeing how the denim was threaded, the different qualities of denim and how it touched the material,” Yepes explains.
Having a mother who pioneered the Costa Rican fashion industry, folding clothes during his childhood, and selling products from a young age have all helped Yepes become the visionary young entrepreneur he is today.