MM: Can you explain your brand and yourself in a few sentences?
Milena Rojas: I believe my brand reflects myself in certain ways. I have developed an experimental and conceptual brand where I can really express myself and play with technology and other available resources. I do manual and detail work, not always with conventional materials. I believe my brand is a mix between cyberpunk and minimalism. And, it is kind of myself, how I look and what my interests are. I love investigating and I believe that’s the heart of my work.
MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?
Milena Rojas: I was always passionate about art. Since a young age, I´ve always expressed myself through writing, drawing, and painting. As I was getting older I started to experiment with manual work, cutting my own clothes, sewing, creating. I guess that’s when it started.
MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?
Milena Rojas: I went to fashion school in Santiago, Chile. I learned pretty much everything there, with my amazing professors. Also, I like to be an autodidact, so I’m always searching for information and teaching myself. Youtube tutorials are the best, really!
MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?
Milena Rojas: My mind works really fast. Sometimes, in a simple conversation, a subject comes out and from that I remember an image I saw...then I remember where I saw it, why it interested me, and what made me feel. And then I just have an idea, or a curiosity and I start to investigate it. Most of my work comes from being intrigued about something, so I believe the unknown is what inspires me.
MM: Can you describe your creative process?
Milena Rojas: First I have an interest, then I start my investigation. From that, I conceptualize that particular subject, I give my meaning to it. Then I search for images of everything connected. Sometimes more subjects appear, more investigation is made and when I feel good about my concept I start to experiment with textile and textures and materials. When I’m done discovering what I want to do, I sketch. Then it comes to the pattern making, color choices, print development, fabrics, the cutting process and finally the making of the garment.
MM: What is your favorite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?
Milena Rojas: My favorite part is experimentation. I love creating new and crazy textures. I love making something that it is not clothes into clothes. It’s fun!
MM: Your work is very experimental with a focus on textile manipulations. Are you always investigating something when you create?
Milena Rojas: Yes! My textures comes from my reference of concept, and my concept comes from investigation. I always dig about what I’m interested in at the moment and I try to really learn about it. I go the deepest that I can.
MM: What is the inspiration behind your F/W18 collection?
Milena Rojas: Me F/W18 Collection begins with an investigation about new technologies and the dehumanization of society. Under the concept of dehumanization, UNHUMAN is born, as an invitation to think, to search for consciousness and awareness of the effect of technology in us and our environment. As raw materials for my garments I used technological waste, creating unique pieces that I hope will become timeless garments of worship.
MM: How is it working as a designer in Chile? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?
Milena Rojas: I believe I carry a lot from Brazil with me, as it is my native country, but I also carry it from Chile, so I believe I’m a hybrid. I feel connected with both countries and I believe the surroundings affect not my design aesthetic but my design thinking, my design values and the kind of professional I am. I always have hunger about something and that’s my fuel.
MM: What are your thoughts about showcasing in Vancouver?
Milena Rojas: I’m excited, nervous, and working like crazy! It’s been unreal and I’m so happy about it. I hope to make a good impression with my work and I hope that it opens more doors for my career.
Thank you for giving us an insight into your creative process Milena! Be sure to see Milena Rojas' showcase at Vancouver Fashion Week this month.