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Q&A with designer Yalary Fuentes

By: Rachel Handel Filed under: Fashion

February 1, 2015

Yalary Fuentes profile

Yalary Fuentes
2014, Associate of Applied Science, Fashion Design, The Art Institute of New York City

"[My instructor] helped me to open my mind and go ahead of everything—be avant garde. With her [help], I pushed myself to the edge and risked everything. I started this collection in her class."

Yalary Venedkhe Fuentes Garcia was born into a family of artists and raised in Mexico City. As a child she was inspired by what she saw at her mother’s floral design business—but her creative energy came to life through fashion. Yalary began by creating her own designs—draping blankets on her grandmother and drawing models she saw in magazines. In 2013, she moved to New York City to pursue her studies in fashion design. Yalary has interned with Mimi Plange and Charlotte Ronson and is excited to continue building her experience in the fashion industry.

The Art Institutes: What is your vision when it comes to your collection?

Yalary: I always had great faith in my collection, "The Queen of Curves." There is a great empathetic connection you need to have with your designs. Once I start sewing and [see] that my designs [are] coming to life, I [find] great freedom in it.

The Art Institutes: Describe your design process for this collection.

Yalary: My designs and fabric were inspired by the architectural works of Zaha Hadid [who said], "There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?" I want to be beyond 360 degrees! Zaha Hadid is not the typical beautiful woman with [a] model’s body; she has more than that. She has a mind that has no limits, like her designs.

I [tried] to use fabrics that were out of the ordinary. I found everything I needed in the darkest part of the fabric store. When I showed the instructors, [they] were in love [with it].

The Art Institutes: Describe how your education prepared you for this opportunity.

Yalary: When I was in draping class, [my instructor] Patricia McCoy taught me that you can create a design [your own way. Another instructor], Larisa Iosilevich, helped me to open my mind and go ahead of everything—be avant garde. With her [help], I pushed myself to the edge and risked everything. I started this collection in her class.

The Art Institutes: Which designers inspire you?

Yalary: Alexander McQueen, Iris Van Herpen, and Christopher Kane.

The Art Institutes: What design blogs or publications are your favorites?

Yalary: I like to read Wallpaper magazine and A Magazine. Basically I take my inspiration from my reading. I like to read about art, architecture, film, history, music, and philosophy.

The Art Institutes: How are you preparing for the runway event? What challenges are you facing?

Yalary: The more I work, the more I’m interested in things that require a great challenge. Those opportunities are much richer—though terrifying. I don't have a lot of patience so this [is] another thing I’m learning, to be patient with myself. I´m where I want to be. [My goal is] to give the best of me.

Stream the show live at 8PM on Tuesday, February 17. Find out how—and get the date on your calendar!

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