New Grad Hired as an Assistant Designer at Cavalini
Born in East Los Angeles and raised in nearby South Gate, Rebeca Fuentes attended South East High School and first heard about FIDM through a friend. “We were talking about our plans that we had after high school and I mentioned how I wanted to become a fashion designer and she told me to look into FIDM,” recalled Rebeca. “I remember she even wrote FIDM’s website down for me on a piece of paper because she told me how FIDM was a great school and they might offer me what I was looking for in a design school.” After earning a degree in Fashion Design from the college in 2019, Rebeca continued her studies in the B.A. in Design program with a focus in Fashion Design and is already working as an assistant designer at the fashion and apparel company Cavalini in Los Angeles. We recently chatted with the 2021 graduate to learn about the pieces she designed for the B.A. in Design Student Show, her unique design vision, and how FIDM helped her score an industry position right out of school.
When did you develop an interest in design? I developed an interest in design when I was about nine years old. I remember getting inspired by seeing everyday clothing when walking down the street, and also seeing the wardrobe of many shows that I watched, as well as the gowns on award shows.
What led you to the Design B.A. program at FIDM? I really enjoyed everything that I learned in my Associate of Arts in Fashion Design, and I wanted to learn more about designing, and how I could make my designs speak for themselves.
Tell us about your work for the recent B.A. in Design Student Show: I created three cocktail dresses inspired by the seasons spring, fall, and winter using colors that suit each season. I also used different fabric manipulation techniques as the main focus details of each collection, such as smocking, pleating, and gathering.
What is your unique design vision? I design garments for someone who is carefree; they can have fun with my designs. I also want my consumer to feel confident and full of energy while looking at my designs, which is why my designs are inspired by vintage clothing and pinup styles with different silhouettes, a lot of puff sleeves, bright colors, and different types of small details sewn onto the garments.
What is a valuable lesson you’ve learned in the B.A. program? That in the design process you should use problem solving techniques to help solve any problems that you might think that can be given a solution. For example, many times when sewing there are always leftover scraps of fabrics, so to resolve this problem and to be able to recycle, I used some scraps of fabrics to be used in different ways in each garment in one of my collections done in the program.
How does it feel to be working as a fashion designer right out of school during a global pandemic? I couldn't be more grateful to both FIDM and the company I work for because with my education I was able to learn the necessary skills that I need at my job, and Cavalini gave me the chance to be part of their team in my dream job as an assistant designer!
Anything else you'd like to share? Always follow your dreams because I can proudly say that doing my B.A in Design program has been one of the best decisions I could have ever made because I learned a lot of skills that helped make my portfolio stronger and interesting. The B.A program has a lot of useful resources and instructors that can help one with any question they may have.
Learn more online at rebecafuentes.com and on Instagram @beca_fnts.