Hub designer driven by deep passion for fashion

Allison V. Kelso | 10/7/2009, 5:55 a.m.
Daniel Hernández (foreground, right) was just 23 years old when he founded DH Studios Inc. in 1997. In...

Daniel Hernández (foreground, right) was just 23 years old when he founded DH Studios Inc. in 1997. In the 12 years since, the Colombian-born, Back Bay-based fashion designer and entrepreneur has won accolades for both his business acumen and his Details de Couture clothing collections. (JJ Miller Design jjmillerdesign.com photo)

Designer Daniel Hernández unveiled his 2009-2010 collection, titled Androgynoux, during a fashion showcase held Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, at his Back Bay studio as part of Boston Fashion Week. The collection contains a dozen pieces that he says merge the masculine and the feminine, and all feature a distinct fabric — black melted plastic — in some form. (JJ Miller Design jjmillerdesign.com photo)

Daniel Hernández crouched in front of a model in his Back Bay studio. In one hand he clasped a needle, which he wove in and out of the black dress before him, gathering fabric just so. After a moment, he leaned back to evaluate his progress.

“I think that works a little bit better,” he said, returning to his stitching.

Behind him stood a makeshift runway and seating for his fashion show, held during Boston Fashion Week, where the dress he labored over made its debut. Adjacent to the setup is his hair salon. Several clients waited as their highlights set, talking amongst themselves.

In the back is Hernández’s office and workspace. Scraps of fabric were strewn across the table, and a corner shelf held bottles from the designer’s line of hair and skin products.

This is DH Studios Inc. — salon, fashion studio and beauty product source, all in one.

Hernández founded his company on May 27, 1997, a date he pulled from memory without a moment’s hesitation. At the time, he was 23 years old.

“I’ll never forget that day,” said Hernández, now 35. “I just remember making a big fuss about it … I mean, it’s kind of a big deal.”

DH Studios Inc. includes all aspects of Hernández’s business, including his Details de Couture fashion line, which he has been producing since the advent of Boston Fashion Week in 1995. His current collection represents more than 10 months of work.

“For this collection, I’m not thinking sellable. I’m thinking creative,” Hernández said. “When things get worse, it’s when you need to be really creative … [to] come out of your shell.”

For Hernández, that meant creating his 2009-2010 collection, Androgynoux, which contains a dozen pieces that merge the masculine and feminine. All 12 utilize a distinct fabric: black melted plastic.

“One day I decided to try it and I fell in love with this stuff,” Hernández said.