“We often do not believe that we are capable to become someone successful in this fashion industry. After seeing the movie “Devil Wears Prada, I was certain I would never be successful in this fashion industry, but my time is coming soon I can feel it”
A few years ago she was just a girl in another high school classroom listening to another college speaker talk about why we should pick their college for our future education. She was not aware this speech was going change her life.
As Mina Toro walks into Starbucks you can see how stylish she is without even trying. Her Tory Burch brown leather boots are amazing. She is the definition of style and knowing how to make an entrance without saying a word.
Mina Toro, is currently working on her own fashion design company. She currently works as a Visual Manger at Old Navy in the Bay Area. She attended FIDM in Los Angles. We conducted our interview at Starbucks a few days ago.
When did you first become interest in fashion?
I became interest in fashion in 2006 in my senior year of high school. I remember that FIDM came to our school to discuss their fashion designing program and it open up my eyes to this career. While the counselor was discussing all different aspects of this career I knew I had to be apart of this.
Were you afraid to suddenly change your major from being a clinical therapist to fashion? (Mina was accepted to UC Riverside before her decision to attend FIDM instead)
I was so scared! I kept thinking would I disappoint my parents and myself in the future. I remember sitting my parents down at dinner a month later after I research everything about FIDM and made my decision to change careers. Luckily my parents didn’t yell at first but they gave their concerns but they give me their blessings.
How was your experience attending FIDM?
I come from a very creative and talented family who are so passionate about what they do. That has always been so inspiring to me therefore I knew that I belonged in the creative field so I attended FIDM where I studied both Design and Visual Communications; I touched every area of the industry and it gave me hands on experience to many parts of my field.
How would you describe your style?
Laid-back chic! I don’t like to look too put together, but you can most certainly see a lot of California in my style.
Who inspires your wardrobe and why?
Not necessarily who but more of —movies, music, flea markets, fabrics, places and everything in between! I feel like being inspired by things you find cool and intriguing can definitely trigger a different look each day!
What inspired your upcoming collection?
My personal style is very influential in my designs. I want to capture my chic California style. I love mixing and matching prints and I am inspired by music. I want my first collection to just focus on spring dresses that are loose but still showcases a woman natural curves.
Where do you see yourself and your design company in the next 5 years?
I would love to have my company flourish and be sold exclusive in small boutiques in the Bay Area. I want to brand myself and become a force in the fashion industry for my generation.
What are the best aspects of starting your own fashion design company? What are the hardest aspects?
Best aspects are the amazing opportunities you can have like working with your favorite fabric, your own aesthetic, collaborations, photoshoots and campaigns, traveling, fashion week, plus meeting so many cool people along the way who you look up to.
The hardest aspect is dealing with companies, brands, and PR people that want to take advantage of you and trying to keep your designs personal.
Where do you see yourself and your design company in the next 5 years? How do you see yourself doing that?
I would love to have my company flourish and be sold exclusive in small boutiques in the Bay Area. I want to brand myself and become a force in the fashion industry for my generation. I want to make sure I connect with my consumers. My generation is focus on social media I would love to showcase my designs through pop up events that will be market through social media. I feel like it’s a new way to brand yourself in the fashion industry.
What advice will you give someone starting off in the fashion industry?
Honestly, listen to your heart. Do not listen to anyone else because they don’t know what is true inside your heart and soul. My life would be completely different right now and I am very happy I am not the person everyone saw me as at the age 18. I am now a young woman in my mid- twenties who is doing something that I love and I know my passion will make me successful.