AROUND TOWN: Orlanie Pena

Marist College is known for its fabulously talented design students, and this week, I was lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes look at an up and coming designer! From the Bronx, New York, Orlanie Pena brings a unique flair to Marist’s Fashion Design Program. The ambitious 21-year-old is a Fashion Design major with Fashion Merchandising and Product Development minors and hopes to one day have her own clothing line. Though she is busy designing her collection for the 2015 Silver Needle Runway Show, I was able to catch up with her to learn more about her emerging career and talent.

Name: Orlanie Pena

Role: Fashion Design Student

CollegeFashionista: What started your passion for fashion design?

Orlanie Pena: I have always been very creative. I loved drawing and making things out of nothing—I was extremely crafty! But I realized I loved fashion when my mom bought me a knitting and sewing book. After that, I just haven’t stopped trying to learn everything there is to know about fashion!

CF: Where do you take inspiration from when designing?

OP: It’s hard to say where I take inspiration from because it’s different in each collection. Sometimes I take inspiration from buildings and architecture, and other times I take it from nature or history; it all depends on what captures my attention and what I think I can get out of it. I am currently working on a collection where my inspiration is the Leopard Moth.

CF: What has been the most difficult part of your experience with fashion design so far?

OP: The most difficult part is trying to get others to view and understand my vision but also satisfy the opinion of others. It is also extremely difficult to take a sketch that you have envisioned in your head and try to bring it to life on fabric without losing slight details in the sketch. It is almost impossible to make a garment exactly how you sketch it because fabric just does its own thing, and you never know the outcome until it’s actually on the mannequin.

CF: How would you define your personal style?

OP: I have a huge range when it comes to my style! I can go from being extremely preppy to wearing sweats and Nike Air Jordan shoes. My go-to piece would have to be my favorite cutout jeans and my white Banana Republic jacket!

CF: What is your favorite piece that you have designed?

OP: My Favorite piece so far that I have design is the one I am currently working on. It is a suede jacket with a cutout manipulation with satin strips weaved into it. Although my favorite, it has been the hardest so far because you only have one shot to make it completely perfect, and suede isn’t cheep!

Learn More: Be sure to buy your ticket to the Marist College Silver Needle Fashion Show on May 8th to see Orlanie’s hard work on display along with the designs of many other talented fashion students!