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Meet Jessica Vazquez of Mood Designer Fabrics in DTLA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Vazquez.

Jessica, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have always had a strong interest in fashion design, but coming from a background where art or fashion design were not thought of as a lucrative career in the Latino community, my second choice was teaching, which was a career that showed a more promising future.

I was determined to find a way to “make it” and pursue my passion for design no matter what! It just didn’t make sense to me to have the love for something so deep at a young age and not being able to express it due to the fear of failure, I felt like I was denying my own true self. I was fascinated by the idea of being able to create something that I thought of by drafting patterns and sewing it into a wearable piece of clothing.

My journey, however, wasn’t always a smooth ride – I had many sleepless nights creating samples to practice my craft and perfect it while working double shifts to pay my school tuition- long bus rides to internships, school, and work. I was able to complete the fashion design program. The temporary jobs I found in the industry, such as pattern making, flat sketching, and technical design positions gave me a peek at the apparel world. I felt something was missing and I wanted more out of this industry as I continued my journey in the fashion world.

I remember the day I prayed to have an opportunity to bring out my true self by sharing my fashion sense and style. Little did I know that God’s plan was already in motion. One day, I received a call from Federico Cervantes, a successful latino costume designer whose work has been featured on such films as Spider-Man and the critically acclaimed Black Panther, and asked me to join the design team at Greg Lauren (otherwise known as Ralph Lauren’s nephew). I began as a studio assistant and moved up to the creative team. As a creative cutter, I interacted directly with the designer and interpreted his ideas into a life sample.

I constantly communicated with the sewing team and this would help me understand even in more detail the proper way of constructing and sewing a complex piece of clothing the way the industry was doing it. I would draft patterns pieces and ensured that measurements met specific fit before actually creating the garment as well. I was given the opportunity to incorporate my own creative skills based on Gl’s original ideas and resources – this then also challenged my own creativity by working with different materials such as military tents to recreate a man’s classic collar shirt.

Furthermore, I understood the value of working together collectively and learned more than what I expected from that experience. Teaching was always in the back of my mind – and with the knowledge that I had gained from my experiences, it was time to embrace this when I came across the famous Project Runway textile company called Mood Designer Fabrics “Creative Sewing Instructor needed,” I currently work as the lead sewing teacher in Los Angeles. I have the opportunity to inspire upcoming designers and people from different backgrounds, every day.

I meet students in the beginner sewing class offered by Mood- asking if there is a way for them to create a project that is part of a bigger design goal, and my response is always yes no matter what the challenges seem to be outside the class thinking of my own journey. Although it seems incredible today, it’s been quite a ride. I ask myself, “how did I make it this far when giving up was easier?” there was truly a way! And there will always be a way. I hope to inspire others with my own teachings today and designs tomorrow.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The journey hasn’t always been a smooth road. One of the biggest challenges that I have encountered thus far is finding ways to break and defy the negative stigmas that are associated with the fashion world. I’d love to also point out that there are so much creativity and opportunity for one to express themselves in the apparel field.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mood Designer Fabrics story. Tell us more about the business.
I am currently employed as the lead Creative Instructor at Mood Designer Fabrics, teaching sewing and draping for both the adult and children sessions. I am most proud of being part of an amazing team/company whose eagerness to help others cultivate and fulfill their personal dreams in fashion is inspiring. They provide a platform for the fashion design schools in the area called the Outreach Student Program based on finding the means that would benefit fashion/interior design students with discounts.

Furthermore, the company offers sewing classes and hands-on creative projects such as draping on an actual industry dress form- dealing with different textiles- and open lab hours to explore the art of sewing with different textiles. I get to meet people from all walks of life, coming from different backgrounds and varying in age, that explains to me that design has been a dream of theirs for a long time.

I am in a position where I can not only inspire but also motivate them to follow their dreams, as wild and impossible as they may think they are. Nothing is impossible, and I am a good source material.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I wouldn’t say it is luck as much as that I feel that I am very blessed. And this comes from my deep spirituality. From answering Federico Cervantes’ phone call to now having met the people at Mood, this is part of a higher calling that’s been there since I could remember.

I have made the best out of every opportunity that’s presented itself to me and through hard work I have bettered each situation, taking and learning as much as I can and now passing some of that knowledge onto others.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Travis Jensen

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