Today we’d like to introduce you to Pangea Kali Virga.
Pangea, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
At this moment I am producing a collection, holding public workshops in my studio, styling editorials for magazines, and am the executive producer of the Miami On Sight Fashion Show. All of my experiences build on each other and my past accomplishments and trials are the stepping stones to my future.
I knew from a very young age that my path was that of a designer. Whether it was sketching dress designs during childhood road trips or my moments as a toddler waking in the night to play dress up in secret, fashion was always on my mind. As I grew older and more autonomous I did whatever I could to teach myself how to make clothes and embarked on my formal training at the age of 14. In 2012 I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a women’s wear degree.
After some extensive solo travel, I settled down in a haunted mansion in Peculiar, Missouri where I started the real adventure of creating my brand. In my first three years as a brand, I participated in over eight runways, made nine collections, and was featured in over two dozen magazines. During that time I also became co-producer of one of the largest runways in the Midwest, the W.18th St. Fashion Show, where I really honed my skills as a curator, mentor, and producer. After feeling like it was time to leave the Midwest, I moved back to New York to do some styling and freelance design work, before moving to SE Asia and becoming head designer for Yaly Couture in Hoi An, Vietnam.
In February of 2019, I moved into my design studio in Little River, Miami which is where I am settled for the time being. Now in Miami, I continue to push my work, collaborating in multiple mediums with artists and musicians alike. I can be hired for custom orders, freelance design work, and styling services. My runway samples are available for purchase upon request.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I often create my own challenges, giving myself what seems like idealist goals. It is also in my nature to be nomadic so often uproot myself and start over again in each new city. There are also the very real struggles of trying to make a living on conceptual clothing that does not fit neatly into the categories of ready to wear, couture, or evening wear, or even art for that matter. It has been a steady uphill endeavor, but I have had the joy of making up my own rules for living and working, which is extremely liberating.
Every experience is one to learn from. I invite challenge and often give myself massive goals that most people would think are too ambitious. This grandness is achieved through collaboration with other artists. Collaboration and teamwork are vital to my art form and way of working with most of my projects requiring the assistance or input of other artists such as photographers, musicians, dancers and painters. It is common for my runway productions to have teams of 40+ people coming together to execute a vision. It’s exhilarating to create, but even more so when doing it with others you admire. I would rather aim extremely high and try my best alongside my peers instead of striving for a mediocre yet attainable goal by myself. There is no failure worse than not trying.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am an enthusiastic creator whose work spans many sides of the fashion and art industry. I am a fashion designer, stylist, curator and producer with high standards and a conceptual spirit. My aim is to build collaborative networks and moving experiences through my work and all of my projects. My career is multifaceted but entirely centered around fashion, style, and community. I make bi-annual conceptual clothing collections featured on runways. My Spring/Summer 2020 collection titled Create/Destroy, It Is All Within Me is currently in production and focuses on the cycle and balance of creation and destruction and their symbiotic relationship.
My designs themselves are entirely one of a kind couture pieces of art that take anywhere from 40 to 140 hours to make, crafted lovingly with handmade textiles and elaborate embellishment. I am very good at taking abstract thought and making it tangible through the fabric. I style creative editorials, beautiful photographic fashion narratives for magazines where I feature emerging and established designers from around the country. I also host regular workshops in my studio to teach people how to sew. I am most proud of my brand for having a totally original viewpoint when it comes to wearable art and my ability to bring large groups of people together to create things that are bigger than what we thought we were capable of.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am embarking along with some cherished friends on my largest role yet as Executive Producer for Miami On Sight, a new annual fashion show celebrating Miami and it’s incredible local design scene with free and open to the public fashion shows. Miami On Sight is a community-minded fashion show, celebrating the city and its people through showcasing emerging local designers in unique iconic Miami locations. Miami On Sight is a free recurring public event, highlighting the local Miami fashion scene amongst the backdrop of Miami’s most beautiful and exemplary locations.
Our first runway will be taking place in Collins Park, outside of the Bass Museum, on Sunday, September 29th, at 7 PM accompanied by live music by Sol The Tribu performing on the Baba Yaga Mobile Arts Wagon. The runway will include both iconic Miami sculptures, Ugo Rodinone’s neon Miami Mountain and the exquisite 1962 Albert Vrana Rotunda. Our show’s theme this year is sustainability and all proceeds will go directly to Habitat For Humanity Miami. We will be presenting both established and emerging designers who focus on sustainability in their practice. You can follow our runway Instagram page @miamionsight.
Concerning my brand and design work, I am in the process of transitioning into a fully sustainable and vegan fine art designer. I am also expanding my work into not just wearable work as I have been doing, but to also include wall hangings and other installation-based fiber work to accompany my semi-annual collections. Being in Miami has really inspired me to create more fiber-based fine art through the immense support and diversity of fiber art this city has. The clothes I am now making are mindful of the negative impact the fashion industry has on the planet through its thoughtless pollution and waste and I am experimenting and exploring all of the design possibilities that can curb the harm to our planet. This includes a lot of patchwork or weaving of scraps to minimize waste, creating designs that require no cutting, or using old clothes to craft new garments. You can see this new process and all of my design experiments on Instagram @pangeakalivirga.
I am also hoping to start a design showroom out of my studio as well to help foster support and create a network of independent designers from around the nation.
- Custom orders for clothing start at $200
- Private custom sewing classes are $20 an hour
- Address: Fountainhead Studios
7338 Nw Miami Court, studio 203.
- Website: www.pangeakalivirga.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/pangeakalivirga
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/pangeakalivirga
(the bio pic)-Behind the scenes of shoot with Pangea and model, Anna, by Wayne Francis
-Pangea Kali Virga portrait for W.18th Street Fashion Show, by Johanna Maureen Brooks
-Black zero waste scrap collage dress by Pangea Kali Virga, photographed by Allegra Messina
-Anna in the black beaded Celestial dress by Pangea Kali Virga, photographed by Wayne Francis for Fashion Grunge Magazine
-Shelby for Trend Prive and Eluxe Magazine photographed by Brad Austin with styling, creative direction, and production by Pangea Kali Virga.
-Veronika in Pangea Kali Virga designs, with styling and production by Pangea Kali Virga, for Dreamingless Magazine, photographed by Yellsing Espinoza
-Michelle, in styling by Pangea Kali Virga with photography by Katosh Wang for Ones2Watch on Models.com
-Dylan in a couture gown and styling by Pangea Kali Virga with photography by Roberto A Martini for Ellements Magazine
-Chloe and Pavlina in evening dresses and styling by Pangea Kali Virga, with photography by Bailey Robb for Lucy’s Magazine
-Arielle in red dress and styling by Pangea Kali Virga, with photography by Jeff Evrard