Daniella Capitano has fashion in her blood. Her Italian grandparents manufactured women’s sportswear, and her dad took over the family business. Her mother studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing and became a fashion designer. A generation later, Capitano has opened American Vagabond boutique at Emergency Arts.
“I’ve always wanted to do fashion,” she says. “As a kid, I really wanted to be a buyer and have a retail store.”
Capitano also went to FIDM, where she studied merchandise marketing and business management, and then got industry experience as a sales rep and assistant buyer. Later, she enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology, learning “to pay more attention to detail and notice the little things that make or break the garment—stitching, fit, draping, different ways to manipulate a garment and have it do different things.”
- American Vagabond
- At Emergency Arts, 479-8971, American Fishamericanvagabond.com.
After experiencing both sides of the fashion business, she decided to create a shop, hoping to incorporate her own clothing line in the future.
Why did the LA native choose Las Vegas? “I had friends who had lived in Vegas, and I really liked Downtown,” she explains. “Unlike New York and Los Angeles, it’s new, it’s open, there are a lot of people coming in, a lot of new ideas, and I’m really inspired by the freshness … the Downtown artists community, the entrepreneurs, the tech startups. A lot of us work for ourselves, so we have the opportunity to pretty much wear whatever we want.”
While most existing retail offerings are tourist-oriented and brand-driven, Capitano sees locals wanting a more personal aesthetic, not designer-dictated style with “sparkly, glittery, club dresses. … There’s an opportunity for people to get creative with their casual look, dress up and make it sexy without being over the top.”
American Vagabond focuses on small, independent labels from Australia, New York and LA, including Cameo, Finders Keepers, Lovers + Friends, Keepsake and Style Stalker. The store will also have an online shop and a blog focused on style, events, makeup and hair.
“American Vagabond is a little more casual, fun, flirty,” she continues. “I traveled a lot after college and I tried to travel light. So I really had to focus on how I was putting my pieces together. ... T-shirts, jeans, fun, printed pants. Throw on a leather jacket with flats and put on some stilettos at night.”
On May 2, Capitano and American Vagabond will host a shop-and-swap event to benefit Safe Nest at the Amanda Harris Gallery. Bring old clothes to swap, shop for new pieces, bid on silent auction artwork and get to know a new addition to the Vegas fashion scene.