Elza Lewis expands on The Houston Fashion Scene with Palacose
“Positivity, creativity, and belief” is what Palacose stands for, according to creative director Elza Lewis. The Houston based fashion brand came to fruition when he was seventeen.
Now, at twenty-one, the entrepreneur has not slowed down. Bulky utility jackets, canvas bags, and corresponding accessories read as clean simplicity while his social media marketing follows in similar footsteps. It’s a specific vision, a creative ambition that has continuously been on the young designer’s mind. Currently, on the cusp of releasing his third collection, Lewis originally found this calling while working in an environment that others could relate to - a retail position in a popular shopping mall staple.
“I was working for Hollister, and I fell in love with retail systems,” Lewis said when asked about his introduction to fashion. “At the time, I didn’t really care about fashion, I was just playing basketball.” Everything has been a learning process, including his time at the chain retailer. But instead of staying stagnant, he took his education to the next level. Craving “more exposure to fashion”, he developed Palacose as an answer to those desires. Through fashion shows, and ultimately, producing new items every few months, he placed himself within the Houston fashion scene.
At twenty-one, finding that position in the industry, there’s bound to be some obstacles. However, Lewis doesn’t let those challenges cloud his mindset. Explaining how he grows alongside the brand he emphasized, “there are parts that are tough, but I don’t really see them as tough, it’s something I have to get used to because this is what I want to do for as long as I can”.
His journey continues with multiple projects in the works, and others that are currently finished. One includes a photobook of his trip back to Japan, where he is originally from. An alternate form of a physical item that represents Palacose, which Lewis hopes to have in bookstores. In November, those same photos will be used in a photo gallery called Arigato Studios. A Japanese experience inspired by the culture he has grown up around. Lastly, ‘More Wifi, Please’, the name of his upcoming collection, will pay homage to the birth of the brand. “We are strictly online, we came up online, and to get views online we need wifi.” It’s a line that will include the “essentials”, such as hoodies, jackets, and bags.
While being constantly inspired, putting his exceeding amount of creativity into new projects, the director still recognized the support the Houston community had given him. Lewis’ was realizing the lack of local brands, he wondered if he could create a system through the business venture he embarked on. “There weren’t too many brands out there. But what if we started doing events? Bringing people in?” he explained. “It’s okay to have your brand, it’s okay to do this and feel supported.”
Years from now, he hopes for a store of his own, a place where he can observe his own creations on display, maybe inspire a few individuals along the way. “For me, my own goal is to develop fashion opportunities in Houston as much as I can. The more people in it, the better it is for everybody.”
Words by Mariah Estran.