Valerie Cabrera Winner of Presidente T-shirt Design Contest

Conversation with Valerie Cabrera
Setai Hotel, Miami Beach/Funkshion Fashion Week 2009
By Marie-Junie Pierre

Dominican born, Valerie Cabrera was the T-shirt design winner for this year’s FUNKSHION Fashion Week in Miami Beach. The 21 year old Miami International University & Art Student’s design was chosen as the winning design for its capture of the “True Taste of the Caribbean.” The Contest which was developed as a partnership between Presidente USA and Miami International University of Art Design invited MIU’s fashion students to submit their designs in accordance with Presidente’s multi-cultural brand philosophy. As part of its involvement in this year’s FUNKSHION Fashion Week Miami Beach, Presidente Light was an Official Presenting Sponsor of the fashion show, “A*MUSE” by Richie Rich, featuring Pamela Anderson. According to Presidente, Valerie’s design which consisted of a Presidente bottle on the left side of the tee shirt with a series of fashion forward messages was the most compelling and unique representation of the brand. Ms. Cabrera’s t-shirt was unveiled to the media on Wednesday October 14th, 2009 in Miami Beach, Florida and made available to the media as a special gift during FUNKSHION Fashion week.

Premier Guide Miami’s Marie-Junie Pierre got a chance to conduct a one on one interview with Ms. Cabrera at the Setai Hotel on the same night her T-shirt design was revealed to the public.

PGM:  On behalf of Premier Guide Miami, I congratulate you on winning the FUNKSHION Fashion Week T-shirt Design Contest.

VC: Thank you.

PGM:  Did you ever imagine that you would emerge as the winner of the FUNKSHION Fashion Week T-shirt Design Contest?

VC: I had no idea that I was actually going to win. I do not know how to draw and I designed the T-Shirt in the Computer with Paint, which is a very simple program. I think they really liked the concept of my design and this is why they chose it as the winning design.

PGM:  What did you have in mind when you were designing this T-shirt?

VC: I’m from the Dominican Republic and as you know, Presidente is a Dominican beer. Since I was very small, I grew up seeing how they work. They always try to incorporate the concepts of the sun, the country and the Caribbean into their events. I wanted to see how I could use those same concepts in Fashion.

PGM:  I think those concepts are well reflected in your design. Do you have any plans of coming out with your own line or delving a bit more into the fashion designing industry?

VC: I am actually considering working for a big company as a buyer, doing styling, public relations or working as an event organizer. I don’t have any work experience so I’m still unsure what my next step will be.

PGM:  What are you studying right now at the University of Miami?

VC: I am studying Fashion Merchandising which is Marketing and I am actually in my second quarter in the program.

PGM:  Do you think you were able to incorporate what you learned in your studies at the MIU in your design?

VC: I definitely do. They teach us a lot from fashion to business. We take Public Relations classes as well as Business classes and the program incorporates a little of everything. I think that what I learned helped me tremendously during the designing process.

PGM: Do you have any encouraging words for other students who might be interested in entering this contest in the future or pursuing a career in the fashion industry?

VC: I would tell them to give it a try if they feel it’s really right for them. The outcome might be really good. This is exactly what happened in my case.

PGM:  Well, thank you so much for meeting with us tonight. We wish you the best in your career.

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