Francisca Pineda is an award winning fashion designer with over 15 years of experience designing apparel and accessories for New York's top brands. She is currently the creative director for luxury, artisan crafted accessory brand BHAVA, utilizing cruelty free, organic and recycled components. An advocate for ethical practices in the industry, she started the Ethical Fashion Academy in 2012, a community focused initiative that organizes eco-fashion events in New York City and a yearly hands-on Fashion Workshop in Costa Rica. Francisca is dedicated to the future generations of designers and mentors aspiring designers and fashion entrepreneurs via the Fashion Portfolio Academy.
From a very young age Francisca was designing the clothes she wore with the help of her mother by choosing the fabrics and details in the garment. By the end of elementary school it was apparent she would be pursuing a career in fashion. She enrolled in as many figure drawing art classes as she could find in her hometown in Long Island, New York. Francisca also participated in a wonderful fashion education program in high school that covered all the basics of fashion design and portfolio presentation. At the age of 16 she started her first job in apparel at a local custom apparel embellishment shop. In her senior year she won several awards and academic scholarships including first place in the Barbie fashion design contest. This was the first early evidence of her ability to achieve in the world of fashion.
Upon high school graduation of her Honors Diploma she had already been accepted to her top 3 choice schools, Pratt, F.I.T., and Parsons. She chose Parsons as this was her dream since visiting the school's exhibit of alumnus Claire McCardell. McCardell would represent the modern efficiency, and devotion to elegance that still serves as inspiration for Francisca's work to this day. The summer prior to her first semester at Parsons, Francisca started her first fashion related job on 7th AVE. She had scored a job sewing and assisting with fittings at a small studio that made and altered garments for New York fashion designers and costumes for dance and theater including Alvin Ailey. Attending Parsons for fashion design was an experience Francisca would never forget. Being taught by the teachers of the likes of Marc Jacobs and Isaac Mizrahi was nothing short of blood, sweat, and tears. Some of Francisca's most notable senior year accomplishments included being selected as finalist for both top Parsons competitions collaborating with luxury Italian house Max Mara, as well as the handbag competition working directly with Reed Krakoff of Coach and his top design and technical staff.
Soon after graduating from Parsons, Francisca went to work as an assistant for The Worth Collection, a luxury apparel brand. At Worth, she was introduced to fabrics from the highest quality Italian mills, and luxury trim and embellishments like Riri zippers and genuine horn buttons. Within a few months of working at Worth she was asked to design their luxury accessory line, encompassing the finest materials available including exotic skins and Italian hardware. This introduction into luxury accessories and sophistication served as a solid foundation to continue the rest of her career with confidence in her aesthetic and stylistic decisions. After a few years working her way up several companies Francisca was able to truly live the fashion designer dream. As a head designer she traveled all around the world to seek out the most beautiful materials in world, and shop the most exclusive fashion markets from Hong Kong to Paris.
Today, Francisca's fashion dream continues to evolve. She is inspired by the advancement of ethical practices and sustainable sourcing and manufacturing in the fashion industry. In 2010 she earned a Sustainable Design Certificate from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Currently, Francisca is helping to establish the Ethical Fashion Academy, an educational initiative that organizes Ethical Fashion Seminars in Costa Rica. Francisca also mentors designers through the Fashion Portfolio Academy. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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