Erica Medrano knew from a very early age that she wanted to pursue a career in the fashion industry. At the age of eight, she would spend her summers in Bloomington, Texas listening to her great-grandmother tell her long stories while they turned old salvaged clothes into beautiful rugs. It was there that she learned the fine art of hand sewing and designing.
Hand Sewing Runs In The Family
Erica comes from a family of Hispanic dress makers that have relied on their sewing skills to earn a living. But, it was her great-grandmother who taught her the importance of using her imagination to create beautiful things with her hands. And, it was sitting at her great-grandmother’s knee when she fell in love with the process of making things and designing.
While attending middle school and high school Erica was always awarded most fashionable, and she used high school as a platform to transform herself into different characters.
One day I would dress geeky chic and the next I’d resemble a ballerina in head to toe blush pink. I remember teachers in school telling me not to focus on my clothes and instead worry about my studies. Little did they know that I’d have a career in Fashion industry. If they could see me now!
Learning On The Job
Although Erica is a native Houstonian, she recently had the opportunity to spend a summer in Paris studying Haute Couture, which gave her a new outlook on life and fashion.
The French are so laid back and have somehow managed to figure out the whole work/life balance. Did you know they have a one month vacation? Crazy right? We are living in the wrong country! Their style is so effortless and chic. My upcoming collection is influenced by the Parisian lifestyle.
Erica has also had the opportunity to intern with Tata Naka, a small design house based in London. Erica took full advantage of her time in London and absorbed as much as she could from her experience with Tata Naka.
It was an eye-opening experience and has shaped me into the person I am today.
Currently, Erica is an intern at Union Square Couture in New York City. Union Square Couture is a showroom that carries Houston native designer, Cesar Galindo. Galindo, an established fashion designer, is a master tailor as well as an expert draper. Although he has made New York his place of residence for 30 years, he still calls Houston home.
Cesar is amazing, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity he afforded me. I’m learning more of the business aspect of fashion. I’m learning about what buyers are looking for in a collection, what sells, placement of merchandise, how to handle wholesale accounts, building relationships and maintaining those relationships. These are things you just can’t learn in school!
Erica firmly believes the way you dress determines how you are addressed. And being a designer gives her the opportunity to give confidence and to influence one’s style by making them feel and look their absolute best.
She’s learned in life that you can plan all you want, but life has a way of designing your plans for you. Erica, keep going with the flow and hand sewing because your designs are flawless!