When I began my career in the fashion industry over two decades ago, I knew that I wanted to do something different, something disruptive, and perhaps even something radical. I didn't quite figure out exactly what I was going to do, but I knew then that I didn't want to blindly be just another luxury brand whose business model is fundamentally rooted in overproduction and planned obsolescence, nor did I want to glamorize overconsumption by tirelessly trying to lure customers into believing that they can join my "church" and be part of the congregation if they spend just enough money on a regular basis. I wanted none of that. Instead, I wanted to be able to harness my skill sets and my passion for creativity to build a brand whose core values are intangibly connected to the world and the people who live in it. I wanted the brand to be resolutely independent, human, agile, and able to continue to morph and refine itself, just as the way we humans do. I wanted the brand to be an artistic commentary on society, offering unique, uncensored perspectives without pretense and conformity. Above all, I want the brand to be an experimental playground, a platform where exceptional minds can collaborate, converging creativity, multiplicity, and diversity to create carefully curated and thought-provoking products that transcend disciplinary boundaries and empower people to make a difference.

In 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic that filled the world with uncharted uncertainties and raucous reckonings, I created CUiRASÉX, a leather-centric interdisciplinary creative studio, specializing in the production of exclusive limited-edition collectibles with an emphasis on exquisite materials, exceptional craftsmanship, and unparalleled attention to details, while prioritizing sustainable business practices. iCONS+, the first conceptual product line under the CUiRASÉX brand, is the result of my forty-two years of putting my interests on display in proximity to one another. It consists of thirteen anthropomorphic handbags that have been recontextualized as mini-leather art sculpture pieces, oozing with vibrant colors, precious leather, and polished metal fittings. The works incorporate dark subject matter, fantasy and humor and use the familiar silhouette of the handbag as a symbol of material culture since the turn of the 20th century. I played with the building blocks of visual language and incorporated thought-provoking subject matters from across continents, cultures, and generations to evoke emotion and take people on a new journey.

Collectively, the thirteen whimsical and meaningfully idiosyncratic works represent my personal process of self-discovery and abstract reinterpretation of the physical world. This inaugural project, in its essence, is about the idea of working within boundaries and the ability to explore novel ways of creative expression in the face of abounding environmental, societal, and economic challenges. It’s about stepping back to self-reflect, being radically honest, and absolutely transparent. But most importantly, it is about building a collaborative platform, to which every connection and bond formed is not merely transactional but rather transformational in nature. CUiRASÉX and all its works, falling within and between the categories of fashion, beauty, interior decor, and modern art, challenge the notion of normality, encourage critical thinking, and question our society's obsession with instant gratification and the notion of immediate luxury that we have unintentionally become accustomed to.