JESSICA GARCIA WAS BORN AND RAISED IN TACOMA, WASHINGTON AND MOVED TO SAN DIEGO TO PURSUE HER FASHION DESIGN CAREER. SHE WAS ALWAYS INTERESTED IN DANCE, ART, AND FASHION AND KNEW THAT HER LIFE HAD TO INVOLVE ART IN SOME WAY. JESSICA WAS FIRST INTERESTED IN FASHION DESIGN AFTER ATTENDING A WORKSHOP AT FIDM IN LOS ANGELES AND BY SUCCESSFULLY ATTEMPTING THE CONSTRUCTION OF HER PROM DRESS. BY ATTENDING THE ART INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA – SAN DIEGO, SHE HAS BEEN ABLE TO TURN HER DREAMS INTO REALITIES AND HAS HAD SO MANY WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW. JESSICA HAS A VERY VERSATILE DESIGN AESTHETIC, FROM URBAN STREET WEAR TO EDGY AND SOPHISTICATED READY-TO-WEAR PIECES, AND EVEN SOME EVENING WEAR, SHE HAS EXPANDED HER DESIGN TASTE TREMENDOUSLY THROUGHOUT HER SCHOOL CAREER. SHE IS VERY EXCITED TO HAVE GRADUATED WITH A BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN FINE ARTS FOR FASHION DESIGN IN JUNE OF 2017. JESSICA RECENTLY MOVED BACK TO THE GREATER SEATTLE AREA AND IS ENJOYING HER NEW FULL-TIME JOB AS THE PRODUCTION ASSISTANT FOR IMPERIAL MOTION, A SURF/SKATE/SWIM APPAREL AND LIFESTYLE BRAND LOCATED IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST.
JESSICA’S DESIGN PROCESS ALWAYS BEGINS WITH THE IDEA THAT SHE WANTS TO EMPOWER WOMEN TO BE STRONG AND BOLD AND STAND OUT. JESSICA LIKES TO IMAGINE THAT SHE DESIGNS FOR HER ALTER EGO, A PERSONALITY THAT MAY LIVE INSIDE OF HER BUT ISN’T ALWAYS SHOWN IN HER DAILY LIFE. IF HER ALTER EGO WERE TO COME OUT AND WALK AROUND, WHAT WOULD SHE WEAR? THAT IS ALWAYS THE QUESTION THAT COMES TO MIND FIRST. THEN THE SKETCHING BEGINS, AND THE FABRIC SHOPPING COMES NEXT AND AT THE SAME TIME TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING ABOUT THE GARMENT UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT. SHE PAYS ATTENTION TO TRENDS AND ITEMS THAT ARE SELLING WELL AND ALSO USES THOSE TOOLS TO CREATE SOMETHING WITH HER STYLE.
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Our readers would love to get to know you more Jessica. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I'm very versatile! I never like to stick to just one style. I think it's important for a designer to be well-rounded but to also have that signature design choice that seems to reoccur.
Jessica, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Designer?
My passion is fashion! How cliche of a statement, but it's the truth. I started my design career by attending the Art Institute in San Diego and took as many opportunities as I could get to participate in shows, collaborations, and extracurricular projects to get as much as experience as I could. I am truly a sponge. I love to learn and grow and always absorb new information and am always super excited about any project I take on.
Who is your inspiration in life Jessica? How do you keep inspired?
Honestly, Lady Gaga is someone I saw as a fashion icon growing up. She probably was one of the first people who sparked my interest in fashion, and then I started noticing her in fashion magazines as the face of Alexander McQueen or Versace. While I am more of an RTW designer, I still look at editorials for inspiration and see how I can bring some of those elements into my pieces that are more sell-able on an everyday basis.
We all make mistakes Jessica; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Designer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
You know, designers tend to have pretty strong opinions or viewpoints on things. And that can make things tough in group project settings. That didn't happen a whole lot in my school setting, but when students would be collaborating to put on a show, sometimes things wouldn't go as smoothly. I am the type of person that needs order and organization for me to feel like something is successful. I remember this one show that I was a part of when the coordinator of the show didn't even show up to the venue until about an hour before the show was supposed to start. So all the models, designers, hair and makeup people, and photographers were sitting around wondering what to do! So, I got the models started on hair and makeup in the middle of this lounge in the middle of the afternoon, and I was honestly very upset and was probably vocalizing that too much. I like to try my hardest to maintain a professional image when working with others and to me, I felt as though she made the rest of us look unprofessional. When she finally arrived, I couldn't speak to her right away because I knew I wouldn't have said something appropriate, but I was glad that we were able to move past the situation.
Jessica , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Designer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
As an up and coming designer, that is something that I have given serious thought to. I also observe how it's handled at my day job on a much larger scale. I make sure that I am aware of the time I realistically have to complete projects and am always 100% honest with my clients about a timeline. I usually require a three-month advance consultation for custom projects to ensure that the project will go well. For smaller scale projects, I complete the projects in the order they are received.
Please tell us, Jessica, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Designer?
Completing my first show as just a designer, and not a student was such an amazing experience for me. It taught me a lot about sourcing, and budget, and time management. Since I now work full time, I had less time to be sewing and working on the clothes, so I knew I had to hire some help. Doing all of these things that usually get completed with the help of an entire team, between 3 people was something I had to be very strategic about to make sure everything went according to plan.
Jessica, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
As of recently actually, I was kind of unsatisfied with the lack of learning experiences I thought I would be getting. I understand that as an entry-level position, you get the jobs that nobody else wants to do, but I was also told that when I started, I would be able to be right alongside some of the designers watching and learning and assisting in any way I could. So I spoke up about it to one of the directors, and things now seem to be falling more into place with being able to work more in the design department directly and participate in experiences that will benefit my career growth and aid in my professional development. I even get to attend a trade show in New York next month!
Jessica, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Designer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
Moving back to Seattle after school keeps proving to me that it was the right decision. I was able to participate in a show last month where I independently created and developed a ten look collection, found my models, coordinated a photo shoot, sourced materials, and any other detail you could imagine that goes along with prepping for a show/launch of a collection. I was so proud of myself for pulling it all together, and the amount of support I had along the way and in attendance at the show showed me that this is where I'm meant to be. I stood on that runway at the end of my show and just felt like, "Wow. This is just the beginning, and I already feel like I have accomplished so much."
Jessica, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
Recently, I was given the honour of creating the suit jackets for some very special friends of mine who were getting married. I've known them for years and when they asked me to design the jackets I was so excited. They let me have freedom over the design and trusted me to create something that I knew that they would love. It was difficult because it was the first time I had ever made anything for men! And suit jackets are all about the detail and construction! I was so nervous about having them fit right too, but when the wedding day came, and they saw their jackets and put them on, they were perfect, and they loved them so much. That right there, those types of moments are part of why I love what I do.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Designer?
My biggest thing is you can't be afraid to just go for it. Take risks. Don't be consumed by what other people might think. Staying true to yourself is what can be so attractive when portrayed through your clothing and your work. Hard work and perseverance through tough times WILL pay off. Sometimes it might feel like things might not work out, and you might doubt yourself, but do not let those times define you.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes, absolutely! I love collaborations of any kind. It's so much fun to meet other creative people, whether that is in the artistic field or the business field. I am always down to chat about projects!
Now for the best part Jessica! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Anna Lisa Photography @annalisa_photo