Shaping traditional Latin fashion history through cultural influence
Fashion director Alezandra Berrio and her creative decisions are shaping traditional Latin fashion history through cultural influence. According to career experts in fashion director demographics and statistics in North America, the most common ethnicity among fashion directors in the U.S. is Caucasian. 57% of all fashion directors in the U.S. are Caucasian, and only 13% are Latin ethnicity.
The question here is why only 13% are Latin ethnicity, fashion directors. When the Latino statistics and reports vocalize that Hispanics, who represent almost one in five Americans, are considered the secret of the future of the U.S. Latinos play a crucial role in economic growth as their buying power keeps increasing over the years to the trillions.
More Fashion brands and retailers need to consider and appoint Latin creative Fashion directors.
Fashion Brands and retailers have an exceptional opportunity to tap into both consumer markets. More Fashion brands and retailers need to consider and appoint Latin creative Fashion directors to get the job done right and have the opportunity to get this tremendous customer-based buying power.
This is why it is important to not only highlights Latin Fashion directors in campaigns but hire them and allowed them to shape traditional Latin fashion history through cultural influence.
Meet Fashion Director Alezandra Berrio. Fashion was never the first option for her. After moving around Latin America, fashion was more of a second or third option, especially because she did not realize she could make a career out of it.
Alezandra is from Panama City. Her interest in the fashion industry began inconspicuously at a very young age and she was not aware it would lead her to graduate from Lynn University in Boca Raton with both a Bachelor's in Business and Fashion Merchandising and with an MBA with a dual specialization in Marketing and Social Media Managing shortly after.
As her love for the fashion industry grew, she found her true calling: runways. During her time at Lynn University, she found herself backstage and took any opportunity to be a part of them. Eventually allowed her to explore the intricacies of backstage and how runways are truly not simply about the clothes or the model.
Over the years, she took up her family tradition to move all over the world. Alezandra then landed in Panama, where she became a backstage manager for Panama Fashion Week, and Mexico, where she currently resides and works at Intermoda as head of the Fashion and Trends department. With three languages under her belt, she is a self-proclaimed citizen of the world and completely devoted to the creativity which comes with the industry.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Alezandra Berrio during the World Fashion Festival 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Regarding her career, accomplishments, and what advice she would give to today's Latina and the future Latina.
OLM: How did you become interested in your field?
Alezandra: Like many girls, the art of dressing up began at a very young age. In between playing dress up and organizing fashion shows after a day of shopping before the first day of school, I became passionate about what fashion could do. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school, whilst filling out college applications that my father teased me with the idea of pursuing my passion.
My love exponentially grew every time I took a step backstage and learned more about the intricacies of being backstage throughout my college career. I am very lucky to have been able to experience and learn from every teacher as well as every opportunity that was presented to me.
OLM: How did you begin your career?
Alezandra: I began my career after I graduated with my MBA and I, reluctantly, moved back in with my parents in 2017 in Guadalajara, Mexico. I began working for the largest business and fashion trade show in Latin America, as an intern. After a year of falling in love with the endless possibilities of creative outlet that the internship brought me, I was hired and became the head of the Fashion and Trends department. There I was able to fully engulf myself in the creative aspect of the industry, as I was also in charge of the trend forecasting area of the whole event, while also supplementing my work with my business background.
A few years later, I had cemented in my head where I wanted to go as a professional, and what I wanted to do with my specific skill set.
OLM: What do you like most about your work?
Alezandra: My work has allowed me to do many things: travel and work with the top names in the industry, but most importantly, it has allowed me to get to know many fashion brands and the masterminds behind them. Being able to get a first-hand experience on what the brand means to the designers as individuals, their vision for the kind of person they want to dress, and being able to translate that into a shoot, a runway, or any other form of expression, is priceless. In addition, I truly enjoy being able to pair my business and fashion background in one place.
OLM: What kinds of accomplishments tend to be valued and rewarded in your field?
Alezandra: The fashion industry is filled with different milestones, as they tend to be subjective to each person and field. It is, however, fair to say that being or working any of the Big Three Fashion Weeks, being the go-to fashion director for specific brands, and being part of the editorial team in a magazine are all accomplishments that will set you apart and come with high rewards.
OLM: How does your position fit within the organization/career field/industry?
Alezandra: As a fashion director, I am responsible for bringing designers, models, AV crew, and different organizations together in one place. Simultaneously, I am also responsible for showcasing the designers’ vision on the runway through a series of visual aids, paired with choreography, music, lights, and models.
OLM: Why do you feel you are the most suited for this role?
Alezandra: Being a Third Culture Kid has allowed me to navigate, and even demand, the idea of change. I have found great comfort in pivoting and finding solutions within an ever-changing world. Due to this specific skill, I believe I am suited for a fashion director.
OLM: What kind of mindset is required for your duties and responsibilities?
Alezandra: The beauty of my role is that I get to be in many places at once, especially during show days. Organization, open-mindedness, analytics, Excel, and even dance are all skills I use during my day-to-day. So, to be in this role, one has to be very patient, knowledgeable of things outside of the industry, quick on their feet (both figuratively and literally), and know how to speak and treat people. In my short time in the industry, I have realized that an adaptive mindset is essential. No one hour in my role is ever the same.
OLM: What are the areas of opportunity that you foresee in your role?
Alezandra: As a fashion director, there are three areas of opportunities that are seldom explored: expansion, impact, and delivery.
Professionally, we can expand to different countries and organizations. The message we showcase, and how it’s delivered, can also vary.
These three areas together, as fashion directors, can allow us to explore different areas within the meaning of “fashion” and “design”, and propel us to places we could have never imagined the industry being in.
OLM: How do you stay inspired and motivated in your role?
Alezandra: I have always tried to have hobbies outside of the fashion industry, as well as consumer information that is outside of the industry to stay inspired and motivated. The thing about the industry is that it all can be showcased through it.
OLM: What advice would you give to today's Latina and the future Latina?
Alezandra: Learn the absolute basics of Excel, and humbly kick ass.