The Tunnelvision (TTV) x Bessi By Carlos Zuniga Interview

One word...Bessi, get familiar with it, because you will be hearing a lot about Dallas based footwear designer x founder of Bessi and Co. Carlos Zuniga along with the rest of the Bessi crew in the coming months. I had the chance to meet and catch up with Carlos Zuniga and Nam Vo - manager of operations - of Bessi and Co., which is a new, up-in-coming footwear brand that will be sure to have you hype. Carlos Zuniga isn't only a jetsetter, but also a dope ass designer who made something from nothing and is living his dream his way. After being tossed suggestions on how and what to do with his fashion vision, Carlos followed his heart and did it his way - because in the end its all about YOU. With shoe designs that not only express casual/urban chic, but also class and elegance, Carlos plans to take the fashion market by storm and hit the world with something refreshing. We all know how "trend kicks" are one and done with the bright colors, and insane themes, but Carlos is taking a more straight-forwarded, sleek, urban, casual approach to his designs with an emphasis on the quality, textures, accents and fabrics of his products, which issues not only an everyday shoe for the fly to rock, but also something for the nights to make you feel confident and clean.

TTV: "How did Bessi start and what inspired you to start, as well as some history of the Bessi Crew?"

Carlos: "After traveling quite a bit around the world, Italy in particular, I realized how passionate they were with footwear. I later returned to Miami to design furniture for some time. I enjoyed designing furniture, but footwear design was my true passion. You might think it's weird, but I always catch myself looking at people's shoes before even looking at their face. I think I'm pretty good at judging someone's personality based on their shoes alone haha. To take it even further back, when I was around 7 I would go to sleep with my new kicks on refusing to take them off - thanks Mom for always providing me with some fresh kicks hahaha. But yea, fast forwarding to 2008, I decided to launch my own company after not being able to land a job in the fashion industry. You don't want to give me a job? Ok, I'll make my own job, and here I am. "

TTV: " What and who are your inspirations when it comes to designing?"

Carlos: "I get my inspiration from a combination of architecture and different personalities. For example, a lot of my ladies shoes look like towering structures - 5" inch heels haha.
I like to design based on the personalities of people I've met around the world, or someone who has left a lasting impression on me. The new "JD" shoe is inspired by my girlfriend's brother. The kid knows how to dress and I envisioned something I knew he'd rock - I was right."
TTV: "How does Bessi differ from other brands?"

Carlos: "My footwear is as edgy as it is classy - especially my women's shoes. Real edgy and you have to be the right girl to wear them."

TTV: "How did you get the name 'Bessi,' and what does it mean?"

Carlos: "Bessi is my Mother's name, my greatest inspiration for her amazing work ethic."

TTV: "What matters most to you when it comes to designing footwear?"

Carlos: "Honing in on my creative abilities and I truly enjoy the creative process, it's a rewarding hobby."

TTV: "How much time does your company spend on quality and creativity put into your
product, as well as the design process?"

Carlos: "The creative process can take months. It can take months to perfect a collection worth launching, but some ideas take a second and then you build them from there. I think the most as I'm falling asleep. I've had moments were I jump out of bed to sketch something. The development process takes some time having to work hand in hand with the factory, etc."

TTV: "How would you define the style Bessi exudes."

Carlos: "Class, Sexy, Urban, Edgy, fashion forward, Minimal."

TTV: "Any specific color schemes or themes for the latest line of Bessi?"

Carlos: " I don't play around with too many crazy colors. I'm more concerned about the texture, materials, and structure. "

TTV: "When you think of Dallas and Bessi, what and how do you see it changing the urban/city culture in our city, as well as other qualities Bessi would bring to Dallas and other markets?"

Carlos: "I think I bring a taste of class using minimalism for my men's sneakers. It's not necessary to design a bright orange sneaker to make it stand out from the rest. I prefer to use exotic skins and add a special element to the sneaker that is subtle yet outstanding. My "JD" design has embossed python with a zipper detail."

TTV: " Where and when can buyers cop Bessi in Dallas and other cities?"

Carlos: " Soon, anyone in the U.S will be able to purchase Bessi by Carlos Zuniga shoes online. Check the site for updates. "

TTV: "Do you plan on branching out to other aspects of fashion ( tees, jeans, etc.)"

Carlos: "Footwear is my passion."

TTV: "How do you see Bessi evolving in the future?"

Carlos: "I hope it goes global. I've been to cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong, and I love their style. I know they would wear Bessi out there also and it's just a matter of time."

TTV: " Any musical or other artistic inspiration within the creativity of Bessi?"

Carlos: "Great question! Another passion of mine is music! Hip Hop to be specific. I usually listen to Kanye, Weezy, Drake, or Lupe to get some inspiration, or MOTIVATION!
But I also like Lounge or Electronic music - depending on my mood."

TTV: "Top 10 artist (musicians, painters, designers etc.) you dig?"

" 1. Kanye West
2. Lil Wayne
3. Lupe Fiasco
4. Gotan Project
5. Issey Miyake
6. Alejandro Ingelmo
7. Giuseppe Zanotti
8. Jay Z
9. Drake
10. Myself haha. "

TTV: "Does Bessi have any showings/events coming up?"

Carlos: "Yea, I can't tell you yet haha, but I can say I have some in Dallas, Miami, and New York."

TTV: "What do you want people to understand from Bessi and the overall company image?"

Carlos: "Hey all of this comes from the heart, I'm passionate about it, I do what I love and I hope all of you are doing the same."

TTV: "Any motto the Bessi crew lives by?"

Carlos: "Along this journey, many people have come to me suggesting what or how I should design. ' You should do this, do that,' " At the end of the day, it's all about being true to yourself and what YOU feel is right."
The day I stopped listening to others about how or what I should design is when I began receiving requests for fashion editorials and the ball really began rolling."

Bessi by Carlos Zuniga carries mens and women's kicks and will be avaiable online, as well as local/select stores around the U.S. soon. You can check Bessi and Co. website for updates on events and cop Bessi by Carlos Zuniga here.

Stay True

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