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.