Fun Fact About me as a Designer:
Maybe other designers can relate but I guess I have a horrible unconscious habit when I sew. I never
understood why but I always finish projects with my lips numb. It’s not till recently that I was told I
will uncontrollably suck and lick my lips while I work.
My name is Elba, 22, born and raised in San Francisco. Over a span of four years. I’ve gained and nurtured skills that have helped me research, interpret research, and use those interpretations to execute concept designs. Projects have exposed me to the stages of planning through target market and trend research, developing through concept adaptation and exploration along with presenting products through illustrations, mood boards, and tech packs.
What was the inspiration for your collection?
Unconfined came from trying to create looks that mixed both my interest in formal/ evening wear and my interpretation of streetwear. The initial inspiration for my collection came from a sketch I created last year, it was a body-con, pleated dress with a ruffled long sleeve. Since I have always designed flowy, formal wear I thought this was a perfect headway into what kind of designs I wanted to create for my final collection.
What made you want to be a fashion designer?
I grew up drawing, sketching and crafting, one day I found myself designing garments and unproportional ones at that. I wanna say my interest came because I was introduced to fashion at a young age, my auntie loved dressing me in what was in style in the streets during the ’90s, let’s just say I always looked like a little boy. I also grew up hearing how at a young age poverty pushed my mother into taking garment construction workshops at her church back in El Salvador. Funds didn’t allow room for clothing so the best alternative was to pay 25 cents for a yard of fabric to construct everyday garments. I’d say that’s the root of it but to answer your question, I think that since I was so into both fashion and crafting I chose to connect the two.
Any advice for aspiring fashion designers?
Prepare yourself for criticism, be open to it because it’s not always gonna be what you want to hear. Be patient and don’t give up especially if this is what you love because you’ll quickly learn fashion is not as easy as it sounds and lastly, push yourself beyond the skills you already have, there’s always room for improvement, our program is too short to show us every skill needed for the industry so, always go out of your way to find and self teach yourself what you think you’ll need to succeed as a designer.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I can’t say I know for sure where I see myself in 10 years but in short, I hope it’s in LA, living in a 3 bedroom home with huge windows, a small kitchen cause I hate cooking, a huge sewing room and of course having and running a successful brand.
"To be passionate means to truly love something, care for it, nurture it and grow with it. Fashion has been that passion for me and this passion takes an amount of patience outsiders rarely understand.
And I don’t say patience lightly, we love to fight and makeup!"
- Elba Cruz