By Rebecca Esparza ’99 BBA ‘03 MBA
As a young child growing up in Seguin, Samantha Plasencia ’08 BA had a special passion for the arts. “Being creative and coming up with innovative ideas was all I knew. My father was the most creative person, coming up with a method to create new and fascinating art,” she recalled.
Armed with a degree in fashion management and her gift for the “dark side of fashion,” Plasencia recently had the honor of participating in the prestigious Plitzs New York City Fashion Week.
“It’s hard to explain the feeling of show- casing with people from all over,” she said. “Coming together to showcase our creativity was exciting.”
The experience was exhilarating and she’s already preparing for next year. Meanwhile, she’s continually pushing herself to think differently and allow herself to become inspired by the simplest things.
“It forces the eye to see something in a different way. It takes more than the love of fashion to be a designer. My entire day consists of critiques, ideas, new concepts and creative thinking,” Plasencia said. Success doesn’t happen overnight in the fashion industry, she acknowledged. But she’s fully committed to the hard work and dedication needed to keep up with the ever-evolving fashion industry.
“It’s awesome to see how far I’ve grown in myself and as a designer. Fashion and design will always be a part of my life whether 10 years or 30 years from now. “
The first six months of 2013 have been a whirlwind for Plasencia: from her first showcase outside Texas to interviewing for the next season of the hit television show, “Project Runway” on the Bravo network.
“I went to Seattle to interview with Tim Gunn of Project Runway. I had a week’s notice to prepare and when I showed up, it was all negative feedback,” she lamented.
Plasencia said Gunn wanted to see pieces from her New York show- case but she had undermined herself by not bringing the “crazy stuff.”
“He said I needed to work 10 times harder and come back next year. There were people trying out for the fifth time, with pieces they’ve kept for years! I cried the entire cab ride home. It gave me time to reevaluate the time I put into my design work.”
But Plasencia said she’s grateful for the life-changing learning experience.
“I’m glad I was shot down. It’s made me work harder and become a stronger person,” she said. “If designing was easy, everyone would be amazing at it. You really need positive and negative feedback to make it in this industry. If it’s something you can’t handle…this isn’t the life for you.”