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Lady Gaga's Houston BFF

Meet Lady Gaga's new best friend: This Houston designer has it made in the shades

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Enid Almanza interview Lady Gaga wearing Enid eyewear
Almanza's distinctive Coke-can glasses were worn by Lady Gaga during her recent Muppet Thanksgiving Special. YouTube
Blind Divinity 2 Enid Almanza
This stunning dress was hand-crafted by Almanza using plastic tubing. Courtesy of Enid Almanza
Enid designer
Enid (right in the shades) hangs out with a number of interesting characters. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Blind Divinity Revelations 3 Enid Almanza
The unique designs of Enid Almanza are the results of his fantastical imagination and his dedication to detail. Courtesy of Enid Almanza
Cocoon Dress
Almanza worked with welder Jose Flores to create this aluminum "cocoon," shown with a gilded mask made from hundreds of zippers. Courtesy of Enid Almanza
The Butterfly Trap Enid Almanza
The unique designs of Enid Almanza are the results of his fantastical imagination and his dedication to detail. Enid Almanza
Blind Divinity Enid Almanza
The unique designs of Enid Almanza are the results of his fantastical imagination and his dedication to detail. Courtesy of Enid Almanza
Cocaine Heart Enid Almanza
The unique designs of Enid Almanza are the results of his fantastical imagination and his dedication to detail. Enid Almanza
Blind Divinity Revelations 2 Enid Almanza
The unique designs of Enid Almanza are the results of his fantastical imagination and his dedication to detail. Courtesy of Enid Almanza
Enid Almanza interview Lady Gaga wearing Enid eyewear
Blind Divinity 2 Enid Almanza
Enid designer
Blind Divinity Revelations 3 Enid Almanza
Cocoon Dress
The Butterfly Trap Enid Almanza
Blind Divinity Enid Almanza
Cocaine Heart Enid Almanza
Blind Divinity Revelations 2 Enid Almanza

At only 22, Mexican-born and Houston-based designer Enid Almanza has already made the big time. After designing for only two years, the designer's unique Coke-can glasses were worn by the queen of unusual fashion — Lady Gaga — during her ABC Muppet Thanksgiving Special with Elton John.

The designer, who has been living in Houston for seven years, crafts each of his pieces by hand and chooses to use "everyday objects" — such as forks, zippers, clothes pins and water bottles — to make daringly beautiful glasses, headpieces, dresses and shoes for his ENID brand. Not only that, but he styles and photographs everything himself, creating almost mythical settings for each ensemble.

Almanza felt that Lady Gaga — widely known for her outlandish style — would be the perfect person to wear one of his pieces. After talking to her team for six months and sending her a pair of his unique Coke-can glasses, the Houston-based designer was told that there was no guarantee the superstar singer would wear them.

 The glasses worn by Lady Gaga are not simply one of Almanza's many pieces. They are the first piece he ever designed. 

"I sent the designs and for two weeks I didn't get any sort of response or message," Almanza says, "and then one day, before Thanksgiving, they said, 'We used your glasses to record the Thanksgiving special.' "

Almanza was absolutely stunned, although with his extremely unique eye for fashion, it's no surprise that Lady Gaga is a fan. The designer is still working with the music and fashion idol's team and will likely collaborate with Gaga again.

The glasses worn by Lady Gaga are not simply one of Almanza's many pieces. They are the first piece he ever designed.

"I was just in my house, sitting around, and I saw these empty soda cans. I just kept staring at them and got my scissors and cut the top of them. I grabbed a pair of old glasses that were laying around and just glued them like that," he says. Little did he know that they would eventually be worn by one of the world's hottest musicians.

While it may come as a surprise, the young designer had no aspirations to design fashion pieces until two years ago when he began having visions and dreams of the fantastical pieces he now creates. Those visions led him to start designing clothes using his skills as a graphic designer. "I started using programs to design clothes and create sketches and everything just started forming itself — all this that there is right now," Almanza says.

For the designer, creating fashion pieces is not only about creating something beautiful, but is about telling a story. "I want my art to tell a story, to say something that has happened in my life. Everything that I do, whether it is the editorials or the fashion films or even a pair of glasses, has a story behind it," Almanza says. "Everything is autobiographical — every single thing."

Almanza says he's influenced by many designers — especially Alexander McQueen — although not in terms of the creations that they've made.

"It's by the way that they live, by the way they reach success," he says. For Almanza, "success is not about being famous," instead it means being understood and appreciated for his work.

With a passion for designing and creating unbelievably unique fashion pieces, coupled with his Lady Gaga debut, Almanza has a bright future ahead. He is already working with a photographer from Vogue and is looking to further expand his brand with fashion shows.

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