Fashion Alum Javy Solano '17 on Developing his Brand and Moving Forward with Confidence

Javy Solano, who earned his BFA in Fashion Design in 2017, discusses how he built his life around alternative themes.

Javy Solano is a fashion designer and artist working on a new collection called Modern Renaissance. Here, he discusses his path after graduation, his perspective as an artist, and what comes next for him creatively and professionally. Above, you can see designs from his newest collection, titled Modern Renaissance.

What made you choose Columbia College Chicago to study Fashion?

I had heard of other kids going to Columbia to pursue different areas in art, and the general idea of going to art school in the city was always appealing to me. After touring the school and getting to see the fashion facilities, I knew it was a great choice.

Who have been your mentors in the world of Fashion Studies?

After graduating, building my brand has pretty much made me become my own mentor. I learned some great things at Columbia, and applying those techniques with determination has helped me push myself to the unknown. 

What inspires your creations?

Whether it's a 90s rock anthem, rotten fruit, or an old crucifix, I'm inspired by alternative themes. I've always been in awe of Vivienne Westwood. Her work and significance to the Punk movement have always been inspirational to me. 

Can you talk a little bit about the inception of the Modern Renaissance project? How did this start?

The collaboration began after Bellina Caetano reached out to me via Instagram. Emely Matus, who works as their Communications + Marketing lead, made it all happen and she's a great person to work with. After a few meetings and fit sessions, we were able to hone in on a concept and mood board for the project. 

What was the most challenging part of putting together this collection and how did you overcome it?

I would say the time frame was the most difficult aspect in terms of putting everything together. At this point in my design journey however, having a short amount of time to finish a big project is actually quite normal for me. 

Is there a message that you’d like to send with your designs?

Rock on. Have fun and break the rules.

What is next for you as a designer and creative force?

I like how things are going right now. I want to continue to experiment with accessories and possibly menswear. Creatively speaking, I will continue to cherish moments of growth.

Credits for Modern Renaissance shoot:

Fashion Designer- Javy Solano 

Makeup- Maria Claudia Perozo

Hair Stylist- Lupita Salgado

Jewelry- Bellina Caetano

Set Design- Bella Caetano and Fernanda Evangelista

Creative Director- Emely Matus

Models: Fern Visutvattanasak & Arika Jeter 


Rhiannon Koehler
Communications Manager