Born and raised in Southern California, I grew up singing, dancing and acting in local community theatre. I was always drawn to the world behind the scenes, which lead me to study Costume Design for the Theatre at California State University Fullerton. Upon earning my Bachelor’s Degree, I moved to New York City to study fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and that is when my company, IRISHLATINA, was born.
While at school, I was chosen to compete in the annual FUSION runway show; a competition between Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology, two of the nations top design schools. Since graduating, I have qualified for the top 50 in the MUUSE X Vogue Talents Young Vision Award Competition. I have been featured in the Steve Madden blog series “On Our Radar”. I have been selected to participate in 3 charity fashion shows for Sisters On The Runway which raises money for Safe Horizon. And I have had my clothing photographed for several fashion publications including Ellements Magazine.
This summer, I was chosen to present my Spring/Summer collection at Los Angeles Fashion Week on October 1st, 2016. My collection is called “WASTE NOT”. The entire collection is made from secondhand clothing I have purchased from the thrift store. The designs and silhouettes are my originals, but by using secondhand clothing for fabric, I am reducing some of the negative impact the fashion industry has on our environment and on humanity.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Founded by Rebecca Rivera in 2012, IRISHLATINA is a womenswear brand based out of New York and Los Angeles. The IRISHLATINA brand is a nod to Rivera’s dual ethnicity, and just like her unexpected mix, she plays with mixing cultures in her design: youth culture, skate culture and hip hop culture are all influencers on the IRISHLATINA aesthetic. Rivera fuses the casual silhouettes of street wear with the time-honored tradition of old world quilting techniques reminiscent of when garments were made at home. Combinations of theatrical and practical meet nostalgic newness.
As a brand, IRISHLATINA is becoming more and more aware of the negative effects the fashion industry has on our environment and on humanity. Did you know that the fashion industry is the 2nd largest polluter in the world? The oil industry is #1. The way we grow our cotton, dye our fabrics, ship them across the world and back again, it’s all taking its toll. But it’s not just taking a toll on the environment. Some of the worlds largest fashion companies produce in developing countries that have little to no labor laws. People are working in unsafe conditions for meager wages. In 2014, the Rana Plaza Factory collapse killed 1,137 people in Bangladesh. 80% of the workers were young women between 18-20 years old, working a standard 14 hour shift at 22 cents an hour. The average American trashes nearly 65 tons of textiles each year. What isn’t recovered for reuse or recycling is sure to end up in a landfill. But even when we donate our clothing it can have a similar fate. What doesn’t sell at a thrift or vintage shop is often shipped to a developing country like Haiti. Our “fast fashion” consumption is part of the problem. We purchase clothing without any thought to who made it, and we discard it without any thought to where it will end up.
At IRISHLATINA, we believe no clothing should be manufactured at such high stakes. We believe in being American made, where we can oversee every aspect of the process, and by creating our “WASTE NOT” collection, we hope to prevent many garments from ending up in a landfill. Taking an unwanted garment and giving it a new life.
What is the purpose of this loan?
This loan will provide me with the tools I need to present my collection at Los Angeles Fashion Week, which will help to grow my business and spread the message of creating and consuming consciously. By presenting at Los Angeles Fashion Week, I am exposing my brand to buyers, press and stylist, all of which will enable my company to grow.
Below is a breakdown of where the money will go. I have raised a portion of this cost on my own so far.
LAFW Fee: $3,500 (Location/Lights/Sound/Hair/Makeup/Press) Models: $500 (for 10) Shoes: $150 (All purchased secondhand) Photographer: $200 Videographer: $200 Set: $200 Programs: $150
Years in operation: 1 year – 3 years