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Q&A with Mariana Cardenas

Dominika Wojciechowska: Tell me a little about yourself. What are your passions?
Mariana Cardenas: Born in Venezuela, lived in the states for a few years and now moving to the chaotic London streets as a graduate student. I’m a 23 year old Fashion Designer that traded the sewing machine for editor techniques. Travelling and exchanging experiences with people is number one on my list of inspirations, you can learn something from just about anyone as long as you pay attention. Knowing different cultures, cities and personalities is a constant in my life.

DW: Individuality nowadays is important, do you agree? What do you think makes you an
MC: Individuality has been the birthplace of so many significant changes in the world but I believe it’s also a great fear. People often try to hide what makes the different because we are taught at an early age that different isn’t good, or sometimes not accepted —w hen actually it’s one of the most important qualities of a creative mind. I think everyone’s story is different and what matters is what you do with what you are handed and just that is what makes you an individual. Artist that successfully express their individuality are those that don’t let the fear of rejection or judgement overcome them.

DW: What would you like to bring and gain from contributing to Fashion Philosophy? Is
there anything that you would like to see on the site?
MC: I really enjoy being a part of communities or platforms that give a way for similar minds to express themselves and share common inspiration and topics. I’ve been collaborating with online magazines for a couple of years now and I’ve always learned something from each one or met interesting artists. Fashion Philosophy strikes me as great place to take this a bit further and really be part of a brand.
I enjoy reading think pieces that compare different points of view creating a dialogue, I would like for FP to be a go to destination for these discussions. Also, I would like to see editorials where all the contributors come together to create unique photoshoots with collaborating models and brands, to really explore each other’s talents and get out of our comfort zones.

DW: How did you first get interested in writing?
MC: In all honesty I stumbled onto it. Whilst in University I had the opportunity to intern for a fashion magazine and realised that I belonged in editorial more than the atelier. Writing for me it’s one of the most challenging ways of expression and the same time it’s very accessible. Writing can be incredibly subjective and when trying to get your opinion out there you have to be careful and honest at the same time. I always look for uncensored platforms that share my personal interest but they haven’t always shared my point of view yet they still publish my work, I think those are the best ones for outspoken artists and the ones that allow you to grow as a writer.

DW: How do you see your future in the fashion industry?
MC: The future is very uncertain, especially when you don’t really belong in one place like me. I’m just looking to grow in this industry and learn as much as I can. I plan to have my own project and contribute to the fashion industry in a way that’s both significant and unique. I’m very interested in the projects that mix technology and fashion to the highest scale so I hope my future it’s in a similar venture.

DW: Do you have any favourite blogs or fashion magazines that inspire you?
MC: I’m a big fan of i-D magazine, Dazed and Confused, Nylon as well as Wonderland and LOVE. When it comes to blogs it’s a never ending list and one I’m always adding to, I have a favourite new blog each week. The internet is supersaturated with fashion blogs but it’s amazing that we have so many options and so many voices to choose from. I’m attracted by different aesthetics, from those of feminist collectives like The Ardorous, to the popular sense of humour by Man Repeller. Also, at the moment one of my biggest sources of online inspiration is Instagram, creatives are really taking advantage of this platform and how user friendly it is, what worries me is that Instagram has to yet evolve with the fashion industry because if it wants to continue hosting emerging talents it has to stop drastically censoring them.

DW: Let’s talk fashion. Do you have any favourite designers and brands? How would you
describe your personal style?
MC: I’m attracted to minimal designers like Rei Kawakubo (Commes Des Garcons), Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander Wang. My personal style really depends on how I’m feeling, I can switch from an all-black-leather-jacket week to a boho Free the People inspired vibe for a month, or a more of a sporty look with basketball tees and hoodies. I’m open minded and I like to experiment and really be true to my mindset at that particular moment.

DW: Are there any recent news from the fashion world that caught your eye?
MC: I was really surprised when Cara Delevingne confirmed she was leaving modelling. They were rumours but I didn’t think she would actually quit so early in her career.

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