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Entrepreneur

Noel Veloz Honors His Father with HEMINCUFF

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“I love the sound of a sewing machine,” Noel Veloz says. “There’s nothing quite like it. I used to hear it a lot as I grew up. My dad sewed in the basement, and I’d go down at night or on the weekends and sit down next to him, watching as he made a clutch or a bag, whatever a client had ordered. Sometimes we’d talk about my dad or he would answer my questions about what he was making. Often, though, I just watched. I learned a lot about design just by doing that.”

Noel is the founder and president of HEMINCUFF, a luxury vegan accessories company. He is a long way from those days in the basement, as his bags are purchased by celebrities like Fabolous as well as CEOs. “That’s true,” he says, “but I will never forget where I come from. I owe my success to my dad.”

Noel loved seeing the impact his dad’s designs had on his clients. “They were so happy with his work, and that made a big impression on me. I wanted to affect people like he did, so when I was fourteen, I designed my own bag. It didn’t exactly turn out well! I still needed to learn a few things. In the meantime, I had to get a job, so I tried being a physical therapist and even a librarian, but that just didn’t do it for me.”

Something shifted when Noel began working in retail and interning in fashion. “It all slid into place. I was learning the business, and I was ecstatic. I knew I had found what I was meant to do because it never felt like work. On my way home from work every night, I used to walk alone from  51st Street to 72nd Street and study every luxury boutique store window. I learned so much about visual merchandising just by doing this.  I also watched documentaries about luxury bags and designers on YouTube. It was all I wanted to do.” 

Noel had found his passion, but he still faced a long road to achieving his dreams, which hit him hard sometimes. Noel is grateful for the advice he received from industry professionals. “Rebecca Minkoff assured me that if I persevered like she had, I would make it. Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston told me basically the same thing, so I took it as a sign that I needed to just gut it out and keep going.”

Noel did indeed continue on his journey to becoming an in-demand designer. Starting his company, HEMINCUFF, was thrilling, and he’s committed to its mission: to empower creative, adventurous professionals who aim high, focus on achieving the unachievable, and look elegant while doing it. “Our clients are at the top of their professions, either in the business or the creative world. One thing they really like about HEMINCUFF is that the work I produce is meticulous. Nothing that I make is rushed. I am setting the tone for the vegan luxe market and have plans to elevate it even more.”

Noel is passionate about HEMINCUFF’s focus on vegan products. “I saw videos of major luxury brands harming animals so that they could use their skins for their products. This is intolerable. I want HEMINCUFF to lead by example and create luxury products without harming any animals. We also help nature by putting greenery in the background of every production shot and by donating to onetreeplanted.org with every bag we sell.”

Noel has a clear vision for HEMINCUFF. “Picture this: HEMINCUFF’s entire line will be made-to-order. That’s cool enough as it is, but what really will take this over the top is that every client will receive a video of their bag being made. What that means is that everyone will have a luxury experience on my website. I’m also in the process of expanding and am interviewing craftsmen to be on my team.” 

His father’s sewing machine seems like a lifetime ago, Noel says, but everything is connected. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my dad. So much of what I know came from him, so I try to honor him as much as I can. For example, I am creating the world’s first-ever luxury vegan trunk. Each one will have a picture of my dad in it so that his contribution to where I am today and to HEMINCUFF will never be forgotten.”

It’s that commitment to details that assures Noel’s clients that everything HEMINCUFF makes is of a high quality and is unique. “I pour myself into everything I do. My dad and myself are reflected in everything that I make.” 

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