A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Elena is a designer and artist based in New York City. Elena graduated with a BFA from Parsons School of Design and a graduate diploma from Central Saint Martins. At 24 years old, she has been named by i-D magazine as one of 'five under-the-radar designers to discover at NYFW'. Her undergraduate thesis collection was shown in September of 2018 at both New York Fashion Week, with showcase VFILES Season 10 Runway, and London Fashion Week, as a guest of the Swedish Fashion Council. Dressing celebrities like Solange Knowles, Grimes, Rico Nasty, Arca, Charli XCX, Kim Petras, Lil Miquela, and Brooke Candy, her most recent collaborations include custom tour looks for the Kali Uchis, Ariana Grande, and Halsey. Elena is one of Teen Vogue's 2019 Generation Next designers curated by Anna Wintour and Lindsey Peoples Wagner as “a designer representing the future of fashion”. Featured in BOF, WWD, WGSN, Vogue, i:D, Dazed, Paper, and The Cut, her work has taken her around the world from Paris, Sydney, New York, and London.
Inspired by the traditions and crafts of her industrial lakeside community, Elena’s work incorporates an appreciation for the artisanal heritage of the American midwest, epitomized by the metalsmith industry, a historically quintessential trademark of her hometown, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The metalsmith process is an opportunity to co design with local hometown artisans to revisit and re-contextualize an iconic regional craft. Through an aggressively delicate aesthetic signature, Elena designs with the tactile sensibility of a maker who prioritizes functionality and utility over perfection or beauty, working beyond contemporary references to investigate the relationship between femininity and force. A proponent of authentic process and creativity under constraint, her collections often incorporate found, salvaged, and site-specific materiality.