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Heavy on Fashion Talks to Viviana Gabeiras of Petit Pois!

Hello all my fashion divas and gurus. As you all know, I love to interview fabulous fashion designers, writers, and personalities. Today I am happy to give you all a inside look at International Fashion Designer Viviana Gabeiras. Viviana is a Venezuelan native who designed and launched the brand “Sweet Pea”. Yes, Sweet Pea!  Encouraged by the positive reaction obtained, she became independent and went on to create Petit Pois. For the past 13 years Viviana G and her partner and husband Rafael operate and fully run Petit Pois, Inc. out of Miami, FL. This is where the entire collection comes together, from her signature mesh fabrics in vibrant colors and mosaic “art-like” prints, to her original designs which carry a soft, sexy flair. Since the entire collection is proudly produced on site in the United States Petit Pois is pushed to deliver first class quality designs to its customers.

Petit Pois has received tons of recognition from high profile celebrities such as Shakira, Mya, Florence Welsh, Adriana de Moura (Miami Housewife),Telemundo’s Maria Celeste, International Model Athina Klioumi, and producer/actress Alison Thompson. Viviana was also given many awards for her work as a fashion designer including the Miami Fashion Icon Award 2013 at the 4th Annual Humanitarian Awards, the best Prêt-A-Porter Style Award at the 2012 Miami Beach International Fashion Week,  and the 2013 Iconic Woman award & the Top Designer for 2013 by the Women in The Arts Miami.

So all my fashion divas and gurus, Here is Heavy on Fashion talks to Viviana Gabeiras 

Heavy on Fashion: When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?

 V.G: I was very much influenced by my mother.  She was an actress and as a child I remember watching her get dressed up.  I would play a lot in her closet and at the age of 13, my step-mother taught me how to sow and cut fabric.  I used to practice by making a lot of clothes for my Barbie dolls.

Heavy on Fashion: What matters to you most as a fashion designer?

V.G: What matters most as a designer is being real and keeping true to myself.  As a designer, it’s important to me to continue growing and bring the best collection possible every year.  There is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone walk into a room wearing one of your designs.

Heavy on Fashion: Describe the Petit Pois woman? 

 V.G: The Petit Pois woman is very much in love with fashion.  She is not defined by age, but by her style.  The world is her stage and she struts through it with pure sophistication, class and a bit of an edge.  She’s confident and comfortable with who she is and where she’s been.  Her manner is playful but she’s still every bit sensual in her way.

Heavy on Fashion: How has the city of Miami influenced your personal style and The Petit Pois collection? 

 V.G: I think the biggest influence is the diversity of people and characters.  Being surrounded by so much color— I am definitely not afraid of using unique color combinations and prints.  I always say that I bring to Petit Pois the European elegance and class, the American sport and comfort, and the Latin flavor and fire.  My success has come from fusing these elements.

Heavy on Fashion: How does Petit Pois compare to Sweet Pea and how do they differ?

V.G: Originally, Sweet Pea was geared to a young, contemporary consumer and very much an easy, top and blouse driven collection which then developed on to diversify as our needs and demands came about.  With Petit Pois, knowing that I did not want to compete with myself, my approach was towards a more sophisticated, contemporary, ageless market. Offering a full collection in solids and prints to be merchandised together where stores can mix and match to bring their own unique style for each group/collection to their entity. 

Heavy on Fashion: Tell me something that no one else knows about you.

V.G: I was a bit of a tomboy growing up and did not wear any color—only black, white, beige and grey—until I was in my twenties and felt more comfortable in my skin. I participated in the Venezuelan Olympic team in the areas of triathlon and high jump, but at the same time, I studied piano and danced ballet.  You can say I’m your typical Gemini.  

Heavy on Fashion: What are some of your favorite fashion websites, magazines, or books?

 V.G: I have to confess that I am addicted to magazines of all kinds and from all countries.  I am always surrounded by them; I have magazines all over my office, in my car, throughout my entire house (bedroom, bathroom and living room), and I never leave home without my carry-along bag full of magazines.  All my books are fashion driven.  I am currently planning on renovating my small library at the atelier.  As far as websites, I don’t have a favorite in particular; I love browsing all kinds of sites.  But I can tell you that the more colorful and picture-filled a website, the more it grabs my attention.

Heavy on Fashion:What advice would you give a fashion designer starting out in the fashion industry?

 V.G: Don’t open your own business as soon as you graduate.  Young designers don’t know who they are yet or what they want—they need to explore the fashion world to gain experience and strength.  In my years of teaching and mentoring I’ve seen how young designers get their hopes too high and are then easily discouraged. If you don’t really have the passion for fashion you’ll quit too soon because you’re not ready for how hard the fashion industry can be and is.

Heavy on Fashion: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

 V.G: We have our website, or, where you’ll find a biography and are able to browse and shop the latest collections.  We just partnered with Zindigo and they have added an online shopping section to our Facebook Fan Page (Petit Pois by Viviana G).  I also have 2 Facebook accounts (one personal and one public figure, both Viviana Gabeiras), a fashion blog on Tumblr (Viviana G the Fashion Blog), a Twitter account (you can follow @mypetitpois), and I write a column for Miami Fashion Spotlight ( twice a month based on the Real Life of Viviana G.  You can also Google: Viviana G, Viviana Gabeiras or Petit Pois by Viviana G for search results.

 Heavy on Fashion: Finally, what does fashion mean to you?

V.G: Fashion is my life; it’s my children’s lives.  It is all the jobs we supply by supporting Made in the USA and by having our own manufacturing company in the USA. Fashion is something I live, breathe, create, design, travel and promote for on a daily basis.  If you were to take fashion out of my life, I would become a zombie—I would not know what to do.

I would like to thank Viviana Gaberias for the interview!

You can check out more from Petit Pois on:

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