The Shoemaker Tells All

Before coming to the United States two years ago from Cuenca, Ecuador, I earned a degree in textile design. I thought I was going to be a designer. I participated in two fashion shows that we had at my university, but they were nothing like Fashion Week in New York.

I worked in a factory as a seamstress when I first came to New York, then started working with leather and got the job at the Leather Spa. Right now, I’m working on a show where the designer wants fur from one of the collection’s jackets sewn on to the ankle strap of the shoes.

I help with all the alterations of the shoes because the shoes come in too wide and they don’t fit the models’ legs. During Fashion Week I get a chance to do things I don’t do for normal customers. Each collection we work on is fun, because it’s always something new and different. One year, a designer was using Manolo Blahnik heels, and they wanted a pair that had pom-poms sewn on to the shoes, but they weren’t able to order enough in time for the show. So we got a bunch of pom-poms, and I had to figure out how to sew them on so they looked exactly right. It was down to the wire to get those done, but that’s when I really feel like I’m part of the show.

This interview was translated from Spanish.
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