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Meet Long Beach Fashion Designer: Will Franco

Today we’d like to introduce you to Will Franco.

Will, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Born in Mexico City, I was raised in Oaxaca and Guanajuato, Mexico. After starting college in Mexico to study Accounting, I decided to move to the U.S.A by myself to search for better opportunities.

First, I studied English as a second language and then I continued studying Accounting at Cal State University Los Angeles, but I realized that this profession was not for me so I switched careers to follow my passion and to make my dreams come true as a fashion designer.

After earning my Associate Degree at Long Beach City College in Fashion Design and Business Administration, I recently graduated with my Bachelors in Fashion Merchandising from Cal State University Long Beach and I am a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

I have designed custom gowns for private clients, created a collection and showcased my designs to promote various social causes and community events. I am currently working on my own clothing line and developing my upcoming collection. I will be creating a clothing line that will be made in the USA as it is important to me that my garments are produced by people earning fair wages in good working conditions. I also want to source some of the materials in my native Mexico so it truly becomes a hybrid of my Mexican and American influences.

Has it been a smooth road?
Coming to this country alone and with limited language skills was a challenge I had to overcome. Through hard work, I realized there are unique opportunities in this country.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
My proudest moment was to be the first one in my family to graduate from college. I had to leave my family in Mexico to pursue my dream of obtaining a degree and starting my own business.

Tell us more about the struggles you’ve faced along the way.
When I first came to the U.S. it was difficult to find a good job because I did not speak the language well. At one time, I was working seven days a week to support myself and finance my education as I also went to school at night. I had to make many sacrifices but in the end, it made obtaining my degree that much more satisfying.

Is there something we can do as a city to improve the outlook for professionals like you?
For me, I always wanted to live in Los Angeles as I was attracted to the glamour of Hollywood. For fashion New York and Los Angeles offer unique opportunities due to the local garment districts and access to diverse cultures. Still, it is a challenge to differentiate yourself from others in LA and it is also an expensive market to enter. Nevertheless, I cannot imagine starting my own company anywhere else.

We have goods schools and growing support systems for local businesses.

Contact Info:

0-Photo_Oct_15__10_38_55_PM 1-Photo_Oct_15__10_39_25_PM 2-IMG_1047 3-Photo_Aug_08__4_17_05_PM 4-Photo_Oct_07__4_49_22_PM 5-Photo_Oct_07__4_49_51_PM 6-Photo_Oct_07__4_48_39_PM 7-IMG_1600 8-IMG_1596 9-Photo_Oct_26__11_45_24_PM 10-Photo_Oct_30__9_48_18_PM 11-Photo_Sep_27__4_58_13_PM 12-IMG_3932 13-IMG_3953 14-IMG_3945 15-Foto_fixedImage Credit:
The first three pictures from my first RTW collection by (Pictures by Rachel Wright)

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