SHEIN Scouts Grad Fernanda Campuzano for Design Collaboration
Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, Fernanda Campuzano (better known as Furnanda) moved to Los Angeles to attend FIDM and graduated in 2012 with her degree in Fashion Design. SHEIN recently scouted her for a collaboration to create the SHEIN X FURNANDA womenswear collection. We caught up with the talented designer to learn more.
Tell us about your SHEIN collection: The SHEIN X FURNANDA collection is a womenswear collection of sexy yet classy fashion forward garments. I was inspired by futurism and the metaverse. I’ve been designing lines inspired by 90’s and 2000’s trends for the past five years, and now I’m so ready to look into the future of fashion. I want everyone to dress like it’s 2022, the futuristic version of ourselves. I know nostalgia will always bring us back to what we once loved, but I wanted to offer something unique and even though my pieces are future inspired, I still believe them to be timeless as they can be worn during different seasons.
How did this opportunity come about? A recruiter from SHEIN found me through my Instagram account. Since I’m also a model, I’ve always tried to keep my design work separate from my social media life, but last year I was featured as a designer on a social media app I was working with and they did a photoshoot with me. That was the first time I showed myself as a designer and not a model online. I posted pictures from my photoshoot on Instagram and thanks to this, SHEIN was able to find my profile and scout me as one of their new designers earlier this year.
How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? I feel like FIDM focuses a lot on teaching us how to be ready to jump into the fashion industry. A lot of my teachers had experience working in fashion for a lot of years, so they’d give me examples of what the reality of designing professionally is like. I feel like other colleges focus on theoretical training and not so much practice. I love that FIDM gave me the tools to strive as a professional fashion designer. I was able to get a job right out of college thanks to FIDM. It wasn’t easy by any means, the homework load was a lot but I see it now as an intensive fashion boot camp. FIDM teaches us the perfect mix between creativity, industry techniques and work ethic.
Which high school did you attend? I attended various private high schools in Mexico City, but when I turned 16, I convinced my parents to let me drop out and do what we call in Mexico “open high school” (which is like getting an accelerated course). I knew I wanted to move to LA and pursue my passions in modeling and fashion design since I was 15, and I felt like I was wasting my time going to school every day. I promised my parents I’d finish early and I did, I graduated high school two years early when I was 16. I’ve always been a very ambitious and determined person so they believed in me.
Any previous colleges? I studied musical theater at G. Martell music college in Mexico City before I moved to LA and attended FIDM. I did that to add to my modeling resume and polish my acting skills in order to be cast on commercials and music videos. When I moved to Los Angeles I started getting booked for fashion shows, music videos and movies right away. I remember I used to do my sketching homework during my down time on sets and carry my FIDM tote bag everywhere with me. One of my early achievements was to be a featured background on the Katy Perry music video for “Last Friday Night.”
You are a fourth generation fashion designer! Tell us about the legacy: My mom, grandma and great grandma have all been fashion designers, you could say it runs in the family. My mom went to fashion school in Mexico City to study fashion design at Jannette Klein (who, by the way, is also a FIDM graduate!), then she worked in the industry for a while and later on decided to open up her own design studio where she’d make custom gowns for her clients. My grandma also designed clothes for herself, my mom and aunts, but didn’t work in the industry. She has talked to me about how, despite not having a formal education in design, she was capable of drafting patterns just by using her imagination. She once showed me a pair of pants she made and I was so amazed by the fact that she did the pattern without any help, she said she could always easily look at a garment and imagine the pattern in her mind. My great grandma was the same way, always designing clothes without having any help or formal education, it came naturally to them. I can see this in my own life as well, sometimes when I’m not sure of what to do when I’m designing I just follow my instincts and they’re always right.
I was definitely influenced by my mom. I started picking out fabrics and sewing since I was 4 years old. She’d buy me European Vogue magazines every month and taught me how to do trend research and I’d help her do that for her own collections. When I turned 15 I started designing gowns with my mom, I’d wear them out to parties and everyone would ask me where I got my dress. That’s when I realized I had a special talent and I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer professionally.
Anything else you’d like to share? I would love to inspire other people to follow their passions in life. I frequently get messages on my Instagram account from my followers telling me they also wanted to become a fashion designer and/or model but they didn’t pursue that due to lack of support. I’d like for them and everyone that’s reading this to know that what they feel inspired to do is what they’re destined to do, and it’s up to them to believe in themselves first and foremost.
Follow Furnanda on Instagram @Furnandaofficial.