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Conversations with Jonathan Gomez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jonathan Gomez.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Growing up, I never thought that I would work in the fashion industry — or even be involved in the art world. I grew up in a pretty “STEM” oriented family, with my dad being an engineer and the rest of my family in medicine, education, or banking.

My older brother went to school for computer science and my twin is currently going to school for pharmacy. I always envisioned becoming a veterinarian until high school. In high school, I went to a nationally ranked STEM school, and I quickly realized that STEM wasn’t for me. I took the art classes offered and immediately fell in love.

I was set on doing something in the art industry starting my sophomore year of high school, but I didn’t know what. Around junior year of high school, I realized that I was really interested in red carpet events — who was wearing what, and what did that say about them as a celebrity? I think that’s the moment I knew I wanted to do fashion design.

Fast forward to college, where I am about to graduate from SCAD. I felt I had a lot to prove to my family while I was here; only because I knew I was the first one in my immediate family to pursue a career like this and I didn’t want it to backfire on my parents, who were gracious enough to support me financially throughout my time here at SCAD. I knew I truly loved fashion, but I didn’t know where I would go with it.

I knew nothing about fashion when I came here. During freshman year, I learned to sew, and I was able to land an internship with Vineyard Vines up in Connecticut after meeting some of the team at SCAD. The internship taught me a ton and, in my eyes, set me up for success. From there, I just continued to learn all that I could and make any connections possible.

I’ve been fortunate enough to land internships at Vineyard Vines, Universal Studios (which was canceled due to COVID), Christina Yother, and Nike, work with industry photographers and stylists, have my senior collection sponsored by Swarovski, and have a little bit of press written about me as well.

It’s truly been a whirlwind, and nothing I would have expected before I came to SCAD. Now that I am graduating, I am looking forward to moving to Portland, Oregon, and working full-time with Nike as a technical designer.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I don’t think anyone truly has a smooth road when it comes to success, haha. I definitely have had some struggles.

I’ve gone through many bouts of depression and anxiety, which complicated work, friendships, and my love for fashion. They definitely only bumped in the road, though. Friends and family were with me, fortunately, and helped me get through whatever I was going through. They definitely helped to steer me back on track!

And we can’t forget about COVID. Everyone went through the wringer with the pandemic and lockdown, and I think that is especially true for students. Having to learn a physical craft (sewing, patternmaking, draping, etc.) over Zoom was incredibly challenging, and it took a lot of willpower to jump over these worldwide hurdles.

I had to teach myself some things that just couldn’t be taught over Zoom and spend many extra hours perfecting things that would’ve been easier to perfect with professors in person. That being said, I think that this pandemic taught me a lot about how to function and work in different situations!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Sure, I’m extremely grateful to work in a super fun industry — fashion! I just actually finished my senior collection here at SCAD. It’s titled “Digital Native” and explores this idea of outdoor clothing for a future with no outdoors.

What would athletic wear and outdoor gear look like if we didn’t need them for survival — what if all of our forests became digital? It plays with these juxtaposing elements of survival and play. What can I do with puffer coats and compression fabric that is fun, yet still functions and provides utility? I’d say that this is definitely what I am most proud of!

Leaving college, I will be working as a technical designer for Nike. I’ve really fallen in love with the technical side of fashion — patterning garments, fitting garments, working with factories to make sure the garments are constructed correctly, sewing, etc. — and I think this is the lane I want to stay in.

There’s nothing more enjoyable than receiving a sketch from a designer and making it come to life! I wouldn’t say that I am really known for anything at the moment, seeing as I am only 22, but I hope that in a few years I’ll be kn0wn in the industry as one of the best pattern makers or sample sewers.

What matters most to you?
This is a good question! I’d definitely say that family and friendships (relationships in general) matter the most to me.

I wouldn’t be here at SCAD or have a job lined up without my family, and I wouldn’t be happy without the friends I’ve made along the way.

At the end of the day, I don’t think it matters much about success or money or fame in the industry, I think it matters if you are happy with who you are and with who you surround yourself with.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Patrick Cox, Avery Oh, Kendra Frankle, Bry Aquino, Ivy Kost, Vanhoose Lexi, Garzac Mari, Melgar Paula, Gomez Camelia de Jesus, Alexa Wexler, Ayden Behn, Ryan Firmin, and Benny Goldberg

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