Costa Rica based fashion designer Rebeca Fernandez is renowned for her unique style which offers a perfect mix of shape and color. Rebeca is referred to as the “one to watch”. She gets compliments from different publications and event producers because of her pieces with their polished and sleek looks. We met Rebeca Fernandez at the Cost Rica Fashion Week 2018, where she broken the mold with her edgy new collection “Human” !!
1 – Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
Well, since I was a child I have always loved clothing, colors, patterns, and all it could represent for an individual’s personality. As a manner of fact, most of the memories I have from my childhood have to do with pieces of clothing or outfits I wore back then. Fifteen years ago, it was almost impossible to think about studying fashion design in Costa Rica, especially because I come from a low-income family. Afterwards, I had the chance to live in Switzerland, where I lived for ten years; and while living there I continued interested in the European fashion style. After spending that time in Switzerland, I decided to come back to Costa Rica with the objective of becoming a professional fashion designer, and luckily, I got the opportunity to study fashion design at Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA) which is a Costa Rican public technical-learning institution.
2 – Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?
I did study fashion design at INA for three years, there I got a technical diploma, and after that, I also took a few college courses at Universidad Creativa to improve my creative skills a little bit more.
3 – How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
Right now, I am beginning with my own fashion brand, which is a difficult task in such a small country as mine, because of the high manufacturing costs and materials’ prices. Nonetheless, I feel I have evolved in the sense of being able of exhibiting my pieces of clothing to the public through events such as the Costa Rica Fashion Week, which have let me grow little by little in the fashion area. What really matters is to be tenacious and never stop believing in yourself.
4 – How do you balance creativity with commerce?
I usually do it by designing more commercial outfits that can be sold to make a living, and by working on more creative projects which is one of my greatest passions.
5 – Tell us more about your designs?
They are sole designs; I like to create different attires out of the ordinary. This means that I try to avoid making pieces that can be easily found on the fast fashion galleries or mass stores. I prefer my designs not to be mass production series, instead, I consider them as
exclusive pieces because most of them are unique, and that becomes a plus for those who buy them. So, people end up having a unique item in a world where many usually wear mass production trends and styles.
Many times I even try to handle the fabric so as to give the garment an added value.
6 – What styles do you prefer?
I love designing dresses and “ready to wear ” garments mostly for women; sometimes I also design items for men or unisex.
7 – How do you select the materials you use?
I love shopping around to look for those materials which represent something stylish for me. Here in Costa Rica it is hard to find a variety of attractive materials, thus it somehow pushes me to be more creative and selective when choosing the right materials. That is why I try to use sophisticated materials, so once someone sees a piece of clothing, that person would feel attracted towards its texture, pattern, color, among others. In brief, I like using materials that may recall feelings.
8 – Do you have a specific research process when you start a new collection?
Absolutely. For instance, this year I got inspired on the London street fashion style because I had the chance to visit such awesome place a few months ago. Then, I feel that many people there are at the cutting edge when it comes to fashion. Eventually, the future of fashion can be found on the streets, so I aim at finding my inspiration on those ordinary commuters who everyday walk on the streets wearing those unique styles.
9 – Who inspires you the most in fashion? Anyone who stands out?
I get inspired by those designers who have that something that makes them be different, in other words, I follow those risk takers who keep moving forward despite of the constant critics in an industry that is continuously evolving and where nothing is mandatory. Thus, some of my favorite designers are Raf Simons because he shows that minimalist side without losing the designing style. Another one is Joseph Font for “Del Pozo”, his creations are almost unreal, and they are typically inspired on nature’s textures and colors. Finally, Alexander Mcqueen is one of the greatest pioneers when it refers to the state-of-the-art fashion.
10 – What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your fashion design business?
I think the greatest lesson so far in my life has been working hard without expecting immediate results, be constant, and never expect to get anything from anyone. My goal has
always been to show how valuable a piece can be when it represents the result from a great effort and struggle, so once it is done, you let it raise a few eyebrows on its own.
11 – What’s your motto?
My Motto is: “get less, get best, and simply get what truly shows who you are…a unique and special being.”
12 – What are your plans for the future?
In the future I would love to own a store in one of the places with the greatest growth for fashion in Costa Rica, for example, Barrio Escalante which is becoming a unique and stylish fashion neighborhood.
13 – How can people follow your work?
14 – Where can people buy your designs?
Those who are interested on buying my designs can contact me directly through one of my social networks.