U.S. Marine and Alumnus Trinidad Garcia Talks About His Premium Denim Label Trinidad3
Alumnus Trinidad Garcia III is the founder of LA premium denim label Trinidad3. This third generation Californian earned three degrees from FIDM in three years: Apparel Industry Management, Menswear, and The Business of Denim. Trinidad is an entrepreneur, fashion designer, product developer, and proud U.S. Marine, and his designs have been spotted on NBA player Markelle Fultz of the Philadelphia 76ers and MLB player Aaron Judge of the NY Yankees.
Tell us about your premium denim label: Trinidad3 is a designer California lifestyle brand celebrating three generations and 100 years of family history in California.
My grandfather, the first Trinidad, was born in Fresno, California, on August 18, 1918. My father, Trinidad II, was born in Selma, California, November 26, 1944. And I was born in Port Hueneme, California, on April 19, 1977. I went to boot camp in San Diego and attended fashion school in Los Angeles—I’m a Californian, through and through, and Trinidad3 is a true reflection of that.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM provided me with a solid platform on which I was able to build a business. My whole business was built while I was a student. I transformed my class projects into my fashion label. While I was in The Business of Denim program, I used to sell my designs on the weekends.
What went into your decision to attend FIDM? I felt the answers I was looking for were at FIDM. The fact that it is a military-friendly school helped make the transition smoother. My Admissions Advisor has a Marine for a spouse, and the gentleman I presented my entrance project to was a Marine. I didn't see myself going to a traditional school or going into law enforcement. I was looking for an opportunity to pursue a creative career. Fashion has always been my passion.
After you earned your degree in Apparel Industry Management, how did you decide to go into Menswear then continue with the Denim Program? After Apparel Industry Management I felt there was more work to be done on my journey. Menswear really gave me the opportunity to explore my creative side and develop a collection. Once my menswear design skills were refined, I still felt I was missing something critical to my interests. Denim. I'm passionate about the industry, so I applied to The Business of Denim program. It exposed me to the global denim industry, literally around the world. I had the opportunity to travel to Amsterdam to attend the Kingpins Denim Show and visit iconic denim mills in Japan. Since graduation, I’ve had the opportunity to sit with legendary denim leaders contributing to a round table discussion of the denim industry in Los Angeles. I also spearheaded a Denim City Amsterdam pop-up in L.A.
Any advice for someone in the military who is considering going to FIDM? FIDM is definitely a place for service members. I got the transitional support you don't find at most schools. Patty Martinez, the Director of Student Veteran Services, was the backbone of my transition. The SVA FIDM Chapter and Veteran Center is a resource that helps tremendously with transition to civilian life.
What connections have you made with other students/grads at FIDM who are also Veterans? I met a team of Veterans at FIDM who have supported me on this journey. Like-minded creatives with a military background and the drive to succeed. We have developed a support network that encompasses fashion, the VA, and personal challenges we face when we exit the military.
What is your biggest goal right now? To grow my company and have the ability to hire Veterans and students who want to do things differently.
Anything else you’d like to share? I was forged in the Marines, and FIDM gave me the support and guidance to start a business. My time at FIDM was priceless, only place I can dream daily, and where my brand was born. Special thanks to my professors/mentors, Financial Services, FIDM Veterans, and all those who were there for me along the way. Even my boys at FIDM Security!!! FIDM will give you the tools, it’s up to you to use them!!! See ya along the way!!! Semper Fidelis.
Follow Trinidad3 on Instagram @trinidad__3.