The Fashion Design and Apparel Technology (FDAT) program at West Valley College is a two-year accredited career technical education program, established in 1985 by a group of industry professionals to fill the need for public education in the field of fashion. Recognized as a leader in fashion education, both locally and nationally, the program now offers two associate of science degrees and three certificates in design and production. We are honored to introduce to you the FDAT class of 2020.

Rosa Chapman | Fashion is Rosa’s passion. Growing up around the many talented and creative seamstresses in her family who made their own clothes inspired her to study fashion design. She is committed to creating unique, customized lines of clothing for real women of different body types who appreciate a perfect fit. Currently Rosa is inspired by the vivid contrast between blue, which represents calm peaceful harmony, and playful orange. Instagram: chapmancouture


Nancy Guillen | Nancy is a fitness enthusiast with a passion for making clothing that aligns with her beliefs. She values living an environmentally friendly lifestyle, making sustainable casual wear to help deter global warming and reduce her carbon footprint. On social media, she loves to talk about the benefits of having a plant-based diet and how it’s helped with her fitness journey. She enjoys connecting with people around the world and learning from other people’s experiences and sharing ideas. She strongly believes people can make a difference in themselves and our planet by learning, adapting, and continuing to make healthy choices. Instagram: americantempleclothing


Maria Iordache | Maria grew up in Romania, with two talented grandmothers and an aunt who taught her sewing, knitting, embroidery, and drawing at an early age. She always loved math, particularly 3D geometry, and graphics and ended up studying bridge design, getting a doctorate in structural engineering from CU Boulder and a business degree from MIT. During a break between jobs, she realized that the commercial fashion industry does not satisfy the needs of career women like her and started working on a business idea. She is on a mission to use technology to create beautiful, high quality, custom-sized clothes for professional women. With her natural understanding of geometry, human forms, apparel construction, and the business world, she is on a journey to realize her dream. Instagram: mariamiordache


Lorrie McPheeters | Lorrie McPheeters has been into designing and making clothes since she was 10 years old, when she started making clothes for others. When Lorrie saw dresses she had designed on stage for the first time, she could only think to herself, “This is what I want to always do for the rest of my life!” From that point on, she jumped at every opportunity to design and make clothes for theater, weddings, and friends. Currently Lorrie is busy juggling her work as a costume designer, apparel designer, and seamstress, but she still thinks it’s amazing. Instagram: lamcpheeters


Olivia Ramirez | Olivia is working on an ethical, sustainable, and vegan friendly clothing line that prioritizes modesty and comfort. Her designs are not based on fast fashion and does not harm the earth or the people on it in any way. Olivia sees the need for quality-made clothing that lasts a long time and is suitable for a simple closet.

Olivia is inspired by the minimalistic lifestyle incorporated into her designs with versatile, adjustable garments. Olivia is well known for her professionalism and great social skills. She strongly believes that having more is not equivalent to happiness. Instagram: designn.or


Jonathan San Juan | Jonathan has always been interested in fashion, producing test shoots with his sister and making dresses out of bed sheets and curtains. After realizing the joy of expressing his creativity through fashion, he immersed himself in the art of dressmaking by reading books, watching fashion-related films and TV series, and actually draping on an ironing board as his first mannequin. Jonathan has received praise for the intricate patternmaking skills that he demonstrates in his clothes. Jonathan’s aspiration to work in the New York City fashion scene and his adoration for the city itself inspired his fashion line. His collection highlights the juxtaposition of glamour and streetwear. Instagram: jonathan.designs


Smaranika Sarangi | Smaranika (Nikki), with a PhD in microbiology, discovered her passion for fashion design by drawing inspiration from her love of handcrafts. To her, fashion is one of the most powerful and communicable forms of personal expression. It is one of the rare art forms that can transform something beautiful into other, more beautiful creations. Nikki is also motivated by the look and feel and aesthetics of being able to manipulate fabric through draping. Through her designs, she not only wants to reflect on her own culture but also reshape it to fit the style of modern professional women. Her designs are aimed at sharing the Indian culture and heritage in everyday Western clothing. Instagram: drape.dead.elegance


Hiroko Widlow | As a teen, Hiroko hated math but loved art. With perseverance she earned her way to the prestigious Musashino Art University in Tokyo, Japan where she studied design and fabrication. Her first job as a ghost designer for large jewelry and watch brands influenced her love for fine details. She still designs jewelry for clients but is widening her scope of experience by studying fashion and experimenting with patternmaking. She hopes to make her designs available to the world soon. Instagram: itsso_you


Article originally appeared in Issue 12.2 “Sight and Sound”