Menswear Grad Creates a Sustainable Genderless Collection
Kevin Lenora was born and raised in Santa Clarita, California where they attended Canyon High School. They first heard about FIDM through the school’s Fashion Club, and Kevin attended the 2017 DEBUT show right before application deadlines. “It lit a spark in me to pursue design as a career,” said Kevin, who earned an A.A. in Apparel Industry Management prior to continuing with an Advanced Study degree in Menswear. The 2021 graduate recently debuted their "Beyond Binary" fall collection at the Menswear Student Reception & Exhibition on September 1, 2021. We caught up with Kevin to learn more about their FIDM journey.
When did you develop an interest in design? My interest in design was a last-minute discovery right before I graduated high school.
What led you to the Menswear program at FIDM? I came to the Menswear program because I wanted to explore as many different fields in the industry as I could during my time at FIDM. I knew the curriculum of the Menswear program would help me do that.
Tell us about your work for the Menswear Student Exhibition: My collection targets the contemporary market for genderless apparel, with a focus on sustainable materials and manufacturing. My inspiration began from my own personal struggles of trying to dress genderless. I wanted to provide people like me with quality apparel to properly allow them the self-expression they deserve. I aimed to have a focus on sustainable and climate-positive materials, especially in my accessories. Multiple garments from my muse pieces were made using BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) materials from certified mills. As the brand grows I have a long-term goal of developing the line to be 100 percent plant-based.
What is your unique design vision? I looked at designing this collection not just to satisfy the trends of the market, but more importantly to satisfy the deep personal needs of myself and my customers. As someone who is a part of this specialized market, I felt that I had a unique perspective on how these customers think and why they look for clothing like this.
What is a valuable lesson you’ve learned in this Advanced Study program? The most valuable thing I’ve taken away from this experience is that a successful brand isn’t just about designing pretty clothes. Putting true passion and dedication into your work always gives the best results on the road to success.
How is FIDM helping you get closer to your career goals? As someone who came to FIDM with zero experience or exposure to the fashion industry, FIDM has taught me the building blocks I need to continuously improve my brand and my success. The classes pushed me enough to build my drive, while also teaching me all the skills I’ve needed along this journey.
Keep up with Kevin on Instagram @kevin_lenora.
Join us for our "Meet The Experts" online sessions, September 14-16, 2021. Get to know the FIDM Department Chairs and Directors who oversee our majors, crafting the curriculum and developing key industry partnerships. Register for this free event here.