Fashion designer and influencer
While some found lockdown to be the perfect time to add television connoisseur to their resumé, others used 2020 as a time to curate new hobbies, or even a business. The latter includes Mia Marquez, 22, a sustainable fashion designer and budding influencer. At the start of the pandemic, Marquez, a former fashion marketing and merchandising at FIDM, relocated from Los Angeles to her hometown of El Paso, Texas and decided to learn how to sew. Since then, she’s built her own brand of upcycled, two-piece matching sets called Recovered — think: I Am Gia, but made of the muumuu your grandma donated to Goodwill last fall.
“I started sewing, and then I downloaded TikTok a month later and [saw that] there were many people posting thrift flips. I [thought], ’I do this for fun.’ So then I started posting [thrift flips on TikTok],” she said. “The third one I posted went viral… I got [about] 200,000 views.”
Since posting her first TikTok demonstrating the Cinderella-esque transformation of an oversized shirt into a matching crop top-skirt set, Marquez has come into her own as a brand founder. On Recovered’s website, she launches monthly drops of her famed sets and recently introduced the option for customers to order custom sets. Marquez has since amassed over 197,000 followers on TikTok and her two Instagram accounts, as well as a client base that includes influencers Maddy Crum (@iblowurmind, 763,000 followers on Instagram) and Kelsey Calemine (@fatherkels, 2.9 million followers on Instagram).
Marquez’s social media and brand power has subsequently created opportunities for Mia Marquez the influencer. In September, she was featured in a Paper Magazine photoshoot for a collaboration with the Amazon Prime “Cinderella” movie.
“I’ve gotten more opportunities from me being a creator,” she said. “It’s hard to balance everything, from being a creator and doing what I’m doing on social media [to building] my brand, because it’s very different.”
As her business — and personal brand — grows, Marquez plans to continue on the path she is currently on, including growing her custom business and regularly updating her brand’s site with new styles. And, she said, she hopes to add to her team of one.
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