Gengos began his formal design training at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Only 16 at the time, he took weekend classes while still attending high school. He later took pre-college design courses at Parsons School of Design, followed by a summer at the Rhode Island School of Design. His determination and enthusiasm for the fashion industry was evident, and he was offered the opportunity to intern for Marc Jacobs. Marc Jacobs was just the first out of a long line of fashion houses. Gangs went on to intern for Calvin Klein, Derek Lam, Anna Sui, and TSE Cashmere, all while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Cornell University.
At age 21, Gengos was hire straight out of college to work at Calvin Klein. There, he ascended the ranks rapidly, rising to associate womenswear designer before leaving in late 2013. While he left to establish his own name in the industry, Gengos gained invaluable experience by working at CK. Not only is CK a massive fashion powerhouse brand, thus giving Gengos the necessary resume starter, but it also helped Gengos develop his aesthetic. In an interview for the Daily Front Row, he said, “My time there really helped evaluate my design aesthetic from a customer standpoint. As much as it’s fun to design one-of-a-kind couture pieces, fashion is a business, so you have to create pieces with elements that the customer can justify spending her money on.”
Today, Gengos dresses clients for red carpet premieres and parties, while developing ready-to-wear collections for the runway. His aesthetic is sleek, strong, smart and sexy. His overarching inspiration is the marriage of futurism with couture, and for Gengos, this marriage comes together in clean, form-flattering and modern silhouettes. Furthermore, Gengos loves to dress women who are strong, beautiful, and feminine. And looking at his collections, it is clear that he designs for the beautiful yet alpha-female.
Another interesting facet of the Gengos brand is the fact that it is built upon the concept of “responsible luxury.” This means that he works only with ethical vendors. “It’s extremely important to know where your product is coming from, who is making it, and support ethical production in the garment industry,” he said in the interview. “Just as the high-end and luxury market sets fashion trends that trickle down into the masses, so too should it begin to promote ethical production and let the mass market follow suit.” A backlash against the growing trend of fast-fashion, Gengos specializes in “slow” fashion that produces “expertly tailored, long lasting garments.” As a result, the clothes he produces leaves minimal waste, but are pieces that stay in your closet for years to come.
Images courtesy of Max Grengos.