Private Project

Fashion Addict

Who knew clothing could be the “perfect drug” ? “Fashion Addict” is a powerful and penetrating look into the life of Isabel Varela who changed herself from fashion addict-turned-advocate. This short film dives into her harrowing mental, emotional, and physical journey, while also exposing the darker side of the fashion industry. “Fashion Addict” is a story of hope and truth, and empowers every human being to know that they are capable of overcoming all the adversities in their lives.

  • Isabel Varela
  • Johnathan Vargas
  • Isabel Varela
  • Isabel Varela
  • Isabel Varela
    Key Cast
  • JV PRoductions
    Production Company
  • Johnathan Vargas
    Director Of Cinematography
  • Johnathan Vargas
  • Isabel Varela
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 3 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Isabel Varela, Johnathan Vargas

When it comes to sustainability, Isabel Varela is an expert in her work, but in a very intriguing way. From a shopaholic with $100,000 debt in clothing to a successful debt-free entrepreneur, Isabel Varela continues to inspire the hearts of many. She educates and empowers individuals to build a better relationship with themselves and the clothing they wear for our planet. Her work includes hosting and producing zero waste events and sustainable workshops, including a mend and repair station and swap shop.

Isabel was awarded "Changemaker of the Year" through the New York City Fair Trade Coalition for her award- winning documentary called "Fashion Addict." She also partners up with well-known non-profits in New York City to engage and educate the
community through her sustainable art activations, including DonateNYC, Sanitation Foundation, New York City Fair Trade Coalition, and the Horticultural Society of New York.

You can view her story on NY1 for her work as a life coach, sustainable artist, and motivational speaker. Her most recent works of art include using fabric scraps, deadstock fabric, and clothing saved from going into the landfill, signifying the astounding amount of textile and plastic waste. The artwork will be at the West Harlem Arts and the Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park through July 2022.

Feel free to visit her website at and follow her on Instagram. For any inquiries contact her at

Do you remember telling your parents you wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer growing up? Johnathan Vargas does not because his dream was to become a film director and to win an Oscar for one of his many feature-length films. Johnathan is a self-taught filmmaker born and raised in New York City. His passion led him to build his own production company called JV Productions. He has produced several short films, commercials, stop-motion films, and much more for his clients in New York. His well-versed client list includes well-known actors, sustainable fashion designers, New York Fashion Week, and National Geographic artist and explorer. He pulls his inspiration from nature, history, and novels including 1984. He graduated from St. Johns University with a degree in Accounting and works full-time as a store manager at the infamous sportswear store, Jimmy Jazz.

His strength is found through his story-telling and captivating the audience with meticulous attention to details when editing. His most recent short film “Fashion Addict” has been screened globally at colleges including New York University, Columbia University, Baruch, LIM, Hong Kong Polytechnic, Louisiana State University, and Washington State University. He has partnered up with companies such as GoodWill NYNJ, New York Fair Trade Organization, Chicago Fair Trade Organization, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, National Geographic, and United Nation to showcase his film. His goal with each film is to make an impact emotionally and creatively through storytelling.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

“Fashion Addict” is a powerful and penetrating film that needs to be shared with the world. The main purpose is to do two things. Firstly, to bring hope and empower everyone that we are capable of overcoming all adversities in our lives. Secondly, to make an impact by shining the light on the psychological effects that the fashion industry has on humanity and the environment. Isabel Varela has had an extensive career in the fashion industry for over 27 years and wanted to take a courageous step to share her fashion addiction-turned advocate journey with the masses. I was inspired by her willingness to share her truth and wanted to capture her life in a beautiful and cinematic way. The film was a way for her to share her spiral down the path of fashion addiction and capturing her emotional, mental, and physical state.

The movie takes the viewer through seven intense years in the life of Isabel Varela. The colors correspond to each step she took forward in her healing process and dictates the proportions of her negative mental state versus her positive mental state. It was very important to capture the emotions and to also accent her mental state with specific video effects throughout the film. The viewer will see the distortion at the beginning of the film and notice how it slowly dissipates to the end which signifies Isabel’s mental, spiritual, and physical healing.

Making this film was very rewarding and inspirational. I was quite particular in how the story flowed from color to color and wanted to engage the viewer each step of my journey. I want to have an emotional impact with the audience whether it is a feeling of hope, shame, guilt, empowerment, or more. The goal is for the audience to leave knowing that they are not alone. “Fashion Addict” is the story of many of us in the world and can relate to one or more parts of the film. If I am able to change my life for the better, then we are all capable of doing the same.

- Isabel Varela