The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

    Student fashion designer dominates the runway show

    His eyes gleam with excitement as he reaches for his bag and pulls out what seems at first like a regular pair of oversized sunglasses.

    He gives Genesis Flores, the vice president of Walter’s Collection, a big smile, grinning from ear to ear.

    After putting the sunglasses on, Walter Mendez, president of Walter’s Collection, explains that “these aren’t just any pair of sunglasses, these are the sunglasses: the signature, logo and emblem that distinguish Mendez from all other fashion designers.”

    This is what makes him unique.

    “When you see so many different fashion designers at a show, it’s almost impossible to remember all of their names, so you have to have something that makes them stand out,” Mendez said.

    But Mendez doesn’t need a pair of oversized shades to stand out.

    On Aug. 28, he showed his 2010 Ready to Wear line at Hill Street Studios. He describes his overall styles as being “nautical, edgy and sophisticated.”

    “I definitely think it was a success,” Mendez said of his show. “There were so many people there that people had to stand because there wasn’t enough seats.”

    As far back as Mendez can remember, fashion was always a part of his life. Though he never thought of it as a career until recently, he assumed that it would always be there.

    “Ever since I could remember, I didn’t see it as a career or job,” Mendez said. “It just to me was always instinctual.”

    To make it in the fashion world, Mendez said, you must constantly reinvent yourself and come up with something more creative and unique than the next designer.

    “If you present them with something old, they’re quick to criticize,” Mendez said.

    But he wants so much more than to be unique; he wants to be understood.

    “As a designer and as an artist, you run a huge risk of people not understanding your look, vision and concept,” Mendez said.

    Being interviewed is not something that is new to Mendez.

    Recently, Beach Magazine asked to do a profile on him, Mendez said, and wanted to see more of his collection from his Ready to Wear line.

    Mendez was thrilled to have that opportunity.

    “They heard about me through other photographers that were at my show,” Mendez said. “They are always looking for new talent in the South Bay.”

    Along with his clothing line, Mendez is a full-time student, on the student government of and always finds time to hang out with his friends.

    Despite his busy schedule, he says that he could not be happier.

    “I think I’m able to handle it because it’s something that I love,” Mendez said.

    Flores can see this in Mendez as well.

    After sitting next to him for some time in a fashion textiles class, she became interested in working with him.

    “I noticed him from a previous fashion show, and I really liked his designs,” Flores said.

    And while Mendez loves all aspects of the fashion industry, the most important part is the end result, and seeing the reaction of someone wearing his clothes.

    “When I see a girl in my clothes, and she’s glowing, and she’s radiant, I see that as magic,” Mendez said.

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