MPD Grad Alondra Rojas Takes Her Womenswear Brand The World Of SIEMPRE to NYFW 2023
Alondra Rojas transferred to FIDM and earned her A.A., Professional Development in Merchandise Product Development, graduating in 2020, the same year she relaunched her brand, which she’ll now be showcasing at New York Fashion Week in February 2023, but her journey to building a womenswear brand wasn’t a straight line. After graduating from Chatsworth High School in Chatsworth, CA, she attended Moorpark College and graduated with two A.A.s in Journalism and Psychology. While there, she started designing and producing clothing. “I’ve always been artistic and loved drawing. When Virgil Abloh created Off-White and dominated the streetwear industry I was inspired. It was definitely the direction I saw myself going in at the time.”
She launched The World Of SIEMPRE in 2016 as a streetwear brand, but ran into some issues. “I was feeling completely stuck on bringing certain garments to life, but I had no idea how. I knew I needed to grow and learn so much more but I had a hard time finding the right path. When the time came closer for me to find schools to transfer to, a FIDM representative came and spoke at my campus. I attended the meeting and that's when I knew that's the school I needed to go to. It was the answer I had been looking for!” We caught up with this innovative entrepreneur to learn more.
Please tell us about your brand, The World of SIEMPRE. How did you get started? I created unisex apparel from shirts, long sleeves, hoodies, pants, hats, and tote bags! It was such an amazing learning experience to produce products from start to finish. It was all trial and error of what I loved and felt passionate about, and others I didn’t feel so strongly for. The first three years went amazingly. My brand was growing and my community was expanding, introducing people to SIEMPRE. However, I felt I was not being true to myself. I wasn’t feeling the same drive and fulfillment anymore by creating only apparel, and I knew I had to change my direction entirely to something bigger. My long term goal was to design and create a luxury womenswear brand.
What really pushed me to change the direction of my brand is the lack of representation of Chicana and Latina designers in the fashion industry. There is hardly any room for Chicana and Latina women who are at the forefront of designing clothes for the people made by the people. I needed to create pieces that really show and honor women/femme people for who they are, to help them feel their best, beautiful, and authentic selves. I wanted to also create affordable pieces that are accessible to anyone, that can be completely dressed up, or dressed down, however you’re feeling in that moment. I had to be true to myself and not follow the trend anymore; thus in the summer of 2020, The World of SIEMPRE was re-born.
With every collection I do, my designs get better and better, though it has taken some trial and error, from sample making to final samples. The clothes and growing community speaks for itself. SIEMPRE strives to produce pieces that honor a forever touch with a commitment to superior quality and comfort, while showcasing the beautiful curves and silhouettes of every individual person. It’s very important to me for every customer to feel their best, no matter what shape or size they are.
You’ve been invited to participate in NYFW next year. Congrats! How did that come about? Thank you! I’m still in awe of it! Flying Solo is a top company in the fashion industry, and is one of the biggest platforms for independent designers to showcase their designs for NYFW, PFW, and MFW. They were having an open call for designers to showcase their designs for either Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter for NYFW. I immediately applied, and felt like I was applying to colleges all over again. The anxiety and stress of waiting to hear the news was all I could think about. After two long months, I was notified that I would be one of the designers to showcase my newest collection at NYFW in February 2023. I cannot put into words how excited and grateful I am for the extraordinary opportunity.
What are your ultimate goals for your business? My ultimate goal for my brand is to be a worldwide household name, and to show people a Chicana LA native has done it. With my first NYFW runway done, I know there will be many more to come for all seasons. One brand that inspires my work is 16Arlington. Their design and creative direction is very femme mixed with a dark touch that is perfect for any occasion as well as the everyday staple.
How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM helped me prepare for my career tremendously! I entered FIDM with a little bit of knowledge and experience of product development, and picking that as my major was the best decision I ever made. It taught me the complete ins and outs of how to properly start a product, how to execute it using the correct materials and language used in the industry, and how to successfully bring the product to its final stage, ready to sell. I cannot thank the professors and connections I’ve made at FIDM enough as they helped guide me through my journey of gaining more experience in the industry, strengthening my knowledge, and building myself to my highest form.
Anything else you’d like to share? Work, network, and create as much as you can!! Networking can get you so far. I cannot stress that enough. It can lead you to the right people to help you become the person you want to be, and create the projects you’ve long desired. It is so fulfilling to work on creative projects with like-minded people who share the same passion and joy as you. Seeing the outcome of it is worthwhile. Never stop believing in yourself or in what you can do. The possibilities are endless!
Explore Alondra’s work on Instagram @siempre.world.