Today we’d like to introduce you to Tricia Rae Saceda.
Tricia Rae, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
A lot of who I am today and morals I stand by stem from both my parents. My dad came to America from the Philippines in 1979 with $50 in his pocket and a dream to raise a family in the states. I was born and raised in a small town in Rhode Island. My parents provided my sister and I vast opportunities to express ourselves however we wanted.
When I was a child, my dad would doodle portraits on opened envelopes while he was on the phone and his hand-drawn calligraphy of our names on our brown paper lunch bags enticed me to copy him and from there, it sparked my interest in drawing. I would constantly draw things that grabbed my attention, from cartoons, like Looney Tunes, Mickey Mouse, Animaniacs to being intrigued by the graffiti art I would see in the back seat as we were driving through highways in Providence Rhode Island.
After high school, I didn’t really have a plan. I knew I wanted to do something creative and growing up in Rhode Island, I wanted to experience something different. Moving to California was always a dream of mine, so in 2006, I moved to Los Angeles to attend FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) where I received a degree in Fashion Design. I fell in love with Los Angeles’ diversity in its culture, arts, music and knew California was going to be my home. After graduating, I interned at William Rast, clothing line founded by Justin Timberlake and his best friend, Trace Alya. There, I interned under Johan Lindenberg and his very talented design team, where I landed my first design assistant job three weeks after interning. My interest was to design Menswear ever since I started fashion school but my mind quickly changed when one of the designer laid out, which looked about almost 60 denim washes, taking up almost half the design space. All I saw were beautiful blues, blacks and grey denim washes just out on the floor and all of them looked so unique and different. I quickly became very captivated in how one denim fabric could transform into multiple washes and from there, I wanted to learn more. This curiosity to denim later lead me to designing for other premium denim brands such as Current Elliot, 7 for All Mankind, and Guess. I’ve spent 13 years of my life learning the craft of denim and have had great colleagues and bosses I’ve called mentors, that have now been great friends of mine.
When someone asks me how I started or how I got to where I am today, the answer has always been being grateful for two things. One is being grateful for the people I’ve met along the way. They’ve taught me everything I know in the denim industry. Second, my family for being so supportive with whatever I do. I know both of my parents made a lot of unseen sacrifices to ensure my sister and I had a really good life. I can say, without friends and family, I wouldn’t have had the support, drive and confidence to continue to try and make them proud with everything they’ve taught me.
Has it been a smooth road?
I think struggle is relevant to everyone and anyone’s journey. It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road but I’ve learned from a very young age that if I want something, I have to work hard and know that it won’t be easy. The fashion industry is not all glitz and glamour that I thought it was (haha) especially in a corporate setting. It’s definitely tested my patience but I couldn’t see myself doing anything but being creative. Being in a young woman in a corporate setting, I’ve had my setbacks. I felt a lot of the time I didn’t have a voice and surely learned very quickly, if I wanted something I got to put in the work and ask. If I didn’t ask and waited til something happened, most of the time nothing happened till I did something about it.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
For quite some time now, I’ve been yearning to explore a different creative outlet that was relevant to the field I work in.. I always wanted to create something that was mine and I’ve wanted a creative outlet outside the corporate pressure that I was used to. It’s human nature to want ways to represent ourselves, things we love, our beliefs or even our interests, and what better way to show represent something than a flag. That something is WARM UNION.
WARM UNION specializes in crafted denim flags . WARM UNION is a symbol of pride and sense of optimistic purpose. Our flags are hand made by the same men and women who produce premium and high fashion denim, made here in Los Angeles. Right now I’m focusing on these flags, but I hope this will grow into something so much more.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
These flags are like art, it’s not wrong or right, and I think living in Los Angeles is the same. People come here from vast parts of the world trying to be something, trying to find a purpose, or just wanting to be who they are meant to be, whatever that is. The beauty of California is that there’s so many different cultures with so many people with different backgrounds and stories. Because of its diversity, especially here in Los Angeles, I feel like whatever form of art that you put out there, with meaning and integrity, people will gravitate to it- someone will find similarities and likeness in what you’re doing. Los Angeles is exploding with so much talent that it encourages people to make something out of themselves. I feel so fortunate, especially being raised in the smallest state in the US, to have had the opportunity to move to Los Angeles at a young age to pursue a career in the creatives and live my life how I want to.
- Custom work start from $110
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/warm_union/
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WarmUnion
Portrait Photo taken by: Jerome Monte Di Ramos