Karlenn Peluso knows vintage fashion.
We sat down with the Riverview High School grad to talk about her style, her brand and how her style has gotten her where she is today.
Karlenn Peluso graduated from Riverview High School in 2005 and went on to the State College of Florida where she studied dental hygiene. She quickly decided the health field was not for her — she would show up to class in her handmade or dyed clothing and knew she had to get out. In 2008, she made the big move to New York City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she felt more at home than ever.
How did you get into making clothing?
My dream has always been to have my own brand and clothing store, actually a couple clothing stores — one in Florida and one in New York. My father is a self made business man and I've always looked up to him for that. I knew I wanted to be my own boss. Looking back it's been about nine years now that I've been making my own clothing. It started with textiles, fabrics and dying them my own. I would buy white v-necks and RIT dye and would experiment with colors and spray paint. Then from there I started dying denim, which is so fun to work with and you can do basically anything to it. Bleach, dye, rip, patches, etc. The dream basically started out with me just wanting to experiment and design my own clothing. I was just getting so sick of shopping at the mall. For me, I didn't understand why the stores here were all we had to chose from for fashion sense.
How was the idea for American Fox born?
Honestly, I was just bored of my closet. I'm a big movie fanatic and music lover and I would see these characters or bands on stage in such cool outfits and thought 'I want to wear that or I want to make that.' The vintage shirts or outfits I would see, I would try and hunt them down in Brooklyn or L.A. Over time collecting and making clothes they just became American Fox. It's like it just manifested itself. It really was just my own personal collection, and people would ask where to find it. Then one person turned into 10, and so on.
Who is the American Fox woman?
Think, Sharon Tate from the '60s or Edie Sedgwick. Someone with style who goes out of the box, dares to be different or unique. Someone who loves music, film, and art. Someone who stands out from the crowd — you see them wearing an outfit that you would never think to pair together or go out of the house in.
Tell me about your vintage flannel collection.
All of the band shirts are rare vintage. Some shirts are 25 years old. The shirts come from Los Angeles, from a friend of mine who hoards old clothing. I love the idea of these flannels, because you know we all have those old shirts that we really don't want to wear but we want to save forever. Now you can put the shirt on a flannel. I'm starting with band shirts because I love rock 'n' roll, but I will definitely be adding more into the idea soon.
What does the American Fox collection look like right now?
Lots of suede, fridge, leather, lace and camo. Most are upcycled fabrics from L.A. and of course, the vintage T-shirts and jackets . Color scheme: taupe, camel, rust, maroon and olive.
Where can you buy American Fox and how long will you be at On Trend?
Right now we're keeping American Fox exclusively at On Trend. I used to love the idea of shopping online but I'm more into customer service and styling. I want people to come to the boutique — meet the actual designer and feel taken care of. I'm also doing custom orders. There is no time limit as of yet for how long I will be at On Trend.
Describe American Fox in just a few words.
A rock 'n' roll lifestyle brand with boho chic flair.
What’s next for American Fox?
New designs, collaborations with other designers, maybe a few music festivals.
For the latest on American Fox, follow @shopamericanfox on Instagram.