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Inez Galvez on Designing for Modern, Real-Sized, American Women

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Contemporary sportswear brand, Revel, launches during New York Fashion Week 2014 at Damon Dash's Poppington Gallery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Sahra Vang Nguyen

Designer Inez Galvez didn't have to look far for inspiration for her clothing line, Revel.

“I watched my mother and Lola [grandmother] navigate a difficult system and adapt to Western culture," said Galvez, whose family immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines in the 1970's. "That’s why versatility is a huge part of the design.”

Those values helped to inform her vision for Revel’s fashion. Individual pieces in the line can be worn in multiple ways, allowing each woman to reflect her own style with the same item of clothing.

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Founder and Designer of Revel, Inez Galvez, in front of Poppington Gallery for Revel's S/S 2015 capsule collection launch during New York Fashion Week, 2014. Sahra Vang Nguyen

Galvez launched her contemporary sportswear line last week, during New York Fashion Week, at hip-hop mogul Damon Dash's gallery, Poppington, in the hopes of setting a standard of being simultaneously fashion-forward and easily-accessible.

“What about tall, strong, curvy and 5’5”? That’s the modern American woman from coast to coast,” said Galvez. “Revel celebrates a spectrum of women not represented in the fashion industry.”

"I didn’t have role models of strong, women of color designers"

The 26-year-old spent three years assisting designers and working on creative teams for high-end brands including Max Azria, BCBG Runway, Eric Barr, and Yigal Azrouel, but always felt there was a void in the industry that needed to be filled.

"I didn’t have role models of strong, women of color designers,” said Galvez. “There needs to be a new voice that represents the new American woman.”

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Attendees at Revel's S/S 2015 launch check out the capsule collection on video display. Sahra Vang Nguyen

To design for that modern woman, Galvez looked back in time -- finding inspiration in the retro sportswear of 1970's America, including track suits and fabrics cut at sharp angles, as seen on tennis dresses. The collection consists of twelve pieces in what she describes as "funky" patterns and bold colors. Galvez sourced special Italian and Japanese fabrics to create comfortable clothing with a contemporary edge.

“Studying Tahitian dance taught me about athleticism, but there’s also pride, intent, and stories embedded in the movements,” said Galvez. “I wanted to create something that’s true to who I am and works for all the different type of women I know.”

“We would have long, deep talks about how to change the art world and make more room for girls like us—brown and unconventional"

Revel’s Creative Director, Kayla Jones, met Galvez during college. “We would have long, deep talks about how to change the art world and make more room for girls like us—brown and unconventional,” said Jones. “We want to push it further and see real girls represented in fashion.”

Weaving in physical, mental and spiritual health is an important part of the brand’s message for inspiring strong women. “There needs to be a new creative model that doesn’t force you to be unhealthy in order to meet your goal,” said Jones.

Revel’s motto, “Play in your power,” is about pursuing one’s passion more so than it is about being physically fit. “We’re not packaging or selling a look,” said Jones. “Revel is a holistic lifestyle brand that’s about going after your dreams and doing you.”