Interview by Charlie Price
Edited by Tiaja Pierre
You have been a central figure in the Denver scene for many years- as an “IT Girl” – or “IT Woman” I should say – What do you think of all the recent growth and change in our beloved city?
Thank you for the compliment.
I feel that Denver needs to remember its roots in terms of its indigenous people, where its early immigrants came from, how they survived and struggled, etc. I would like to see more connection with our cultural history to enrich how we live today. Beyond that, I do have concerns for how the natural environment is being impacted by the much larger population.
You are quite political – How do world events and politics play into your work?
As a creative, I believe it’s important for my work to reflect what is happening in the world. So political, social and personal commentary often inspire my designs.
Your work is a potent mix of your Latin heritage – your identity as a feminist – and your sort of rebel punk spirit. Do you specifically and intentionally harness those elements into your creations or does it just naturally happen?
Yes, these elements do show up in my work – sometimes I am surprised myself when they do. I am not sure which element will be the most important one from one collection to the next. The Latin heritage – I guess it comes from hearing the stories of my family and their connection with Colorado and New Mexico. The feminism comes from reading a lot of feminist books when I was younger – I have always been aware of the issues that women have living in a man’s world. I think I was born questioning and analyzing everything and that accounts for the punk spirit.
You have a love of things like berets and circle skirts – where did this come from?
I have always loved berets – they have been used by various rebel groups, military groups, artists, the French, the Spanish, etc. They can be worn in such different ways. They’re flattering on most people. The circle skirts – I love the 50’s style Mexican circle skirts. They evoke a romantic era, they look beautiful on the body and I love that there is a lot of room for surface embellishments.
Who is the woman you dress? What is she like?
I dress women who have confidence in their own beauty. They are smart, love the arts and are inspired by something different. They do not like to look or be conventional. I also dress men and I would say the same about them.
What does it mean to you to be a citizen of The West?
As a citizen of The West, I believe we should be open to new ideas, to be at the forefront of those ideas, and we should be creating positive change in the world.