Founder and owner of her eponymous fashion label, Gabriela Carolina Galarza earned two degrees from FIDM: Apparel Industry Management (2014) and International Manufacturing and Product Development (2015).
Tell us a little about yourself: Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a love for fashion. I knew I wanted to do something different from my family, and start from the ground up. From the first meeting at FIDM, I knew that my journey would start there. Fast forward three years, and I graduated with two FIDM degrees.
And your eponymous fashion label, Gabriela Carolina? After gaining experience in multiple apparel companies like MaxMara, BCBGMaxAzria (corporate), I started building my company Gabriela Carolina, where fine details and craftsmanship were paramount. Not only does the product need to be appealing, but also comfortable and stylish. My brand is a high-end, made-to-order womenswear company aiming to re-design the classic American jacket. Made in Los Angeles, we use the finest fabrics and hardware, sourced from the world’s most exclusive artisan manufacturers, to ensure impeccable fit and finish.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you? FIDM gave me the connections to achieve my dream. I’m beyond grateful for the time I spent at FIDM, learning the ins and outs of the fashion business. FIDM gave me a great foundation for everything I do today for my business.
Which classes at FIDM were most valuable? As a student, FIDM prepared me for the intense fashion industry environment. I enjoyed all my classes especially the ones that were more hands-on, but to me the most valuable thing was going on fieldtrips to different manufacturing facilities, and learning visually.
Favorite FIDM memory: I have so many great memories from FIDM for example, visiting factories around the world and experiencing first-hand the process from initial design concept to completion in both domestic and international manufacturers was golden.
Any advice for current FIDM Students? Nothing is impossible. Turn your passion into determination, and work your ass off to accomplish it. It’s important to work hard but also make sure you have fun. Start building your relationships and enjoy the journey.
What is your biggest goal right now? My goal is to expand my client base and continue to grow my business.
Follow FIDM Alumna Gabriela Carolina on Instagram @gabriela____carolina.