It's not often everyday folks find themselves in a serendipitous moment but in the life of an artist it's far more likely. That's just what happened to Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, who recently launched a new line of apparel with VIDA design collaborative out of San Francisco.
This is not Monterrubio's first foray into fashion. Inspiration started with his mother, Rita Monterrubio, who has been a dress designer for more than 50 years. And he is CEO/owner and head designer for Bellezaful, an urban fashion line aimed at recognizing the beauty of all Latina women.
He wrote in an email, "Being around fabrics and a master designer for most of my life, you tend to watch things, and ideas have been meandering around my creative mind for several years to design my own line of clothing."
While his Bellezaful line is sporty and fun and appropriate for all ages, the Diego Monterrubio Collection skews a bit higher-end with more than 100 designs ranging from tops, scarves, pillows, capri pants, and beautiful purses and clutch bags.
"They are fun and quirky for daily use but I have also created very cosmopolitan designs that have been worn in the streets of Paris, New York and Mexico City."
VIDA is a global partnership, connecting artists with manufacturers to source and design products. Their collections have been featured in WWD, HSN, Fashionista and Fashion Times.
The company had approached Monterrubio a number of times to collaborate, but his busy schedule of art exhibitions (including this spring at Metro Galleries) and work as an adjunct art professor at Bakersfield College had deterred him. But he found he couldn't turn down the latest offer, which VIDA made last year.
For the line, he incorporated designs from existing artwork, including his vibrant-hued High Heel paintings and Pop Art-inspired Novela series. But he also created new images based on the styles.
"Once I (was) able to see the patterns for the clothing, I went into a 'create and design' mode for this line. That first night I was so inspired that I created over 20 designs in less than an hour.
"I had a new palette to play with: fabrics, cuts and design."
One of his favorites in the line is “Colobri,” which translates to hummingbird.
"This design came directly from a painting of mine about a hummingbird visit I had one time while sitting in my home in Mexico. It was a surreal and neat moment."
For now, the line is available only through the VIDA site (shopvida.com/diego-monterrubio). The artist would eventually like to be able to sell locally but for now is content working on seasonal collections.
"The art speaks to me. I see my paintings and envision, just like my mom, a design in fabrics on a three-dimensional form."
And his busy schedule continues: He will showcase his new collection and art in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, next month.
For more on his artwork, visit diegomonterrubio.weebly.com.