Kerby Young Designs Magazine KYD Summer Issue - Page 43

My name is Ruthvenezuelana Lopez. I was born in Port of Spain, and was raised in the foothills of Laventille. Growing up I had an innate love of animals, and was convinced that my career path would lead to me becoming a veterinarian. I can however still hear my father’s voice in my head, telling me to make space in my life for my passions to drive my paycheck. With that in mind I migrated my thoughts toward the drawing and development of fashion illustrations. I felt the call of fashion shouting to me and echoing through the generations of my family.

At the age of sixteen (16) I manufactured my first machine sewn garment. This small success encouraged me to dare to dream that I could do so much more. I applied for consideration of entry into the Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design (CAFAD), never really expecting to be accepted. A few months after my initial application, I was contacted to register. To my great surprise, I had been accepted. I now had a clear roadmap to a successful career in my passion.

Studying at CAFAD was hard work, and to add to this I was also working a regular 9am to 4pm job simultaneously, but I did not care. I was pursuing my true love. On May 8 th 2011,

(Mother’s Day) I was invited to show my designs at my first fashion showcase. During that same year, I had the opportunity to work with Brian Mac Farlane. This exposure spurred me on to even greater heights, and my thirst for excellence in my chosen art was now unquenchable.

Having some background in modeling, I began producing garments to be professionally photographed in order to build what would later become my brand. In 2015 I made a brief pause for the birth of my daughter, then dove right back into my fashion. In 2016 I graduated from CADAF and started actively sewing garments for sale. I paused again in 2017 for the birth of my son.

In 2018 I came out with a bang. I officially launched my brand, UKA Designs, and hit the runways with my collections. In the past year I have produced four (4) collections, and I am just getting started. With every collection that I show, the demand grows, and I am urged on by my supporters, to provide them with new and exciting designs for their everyday lives. My designs range from swimwear, to casual clothing, and all the way to formalwear. If you want something designed for a specific purpose, it only requires a brief conversation and you are guaranteed to walk away with your mind blown, while being gentle on your pocket.

Being a mother to two young children while at the same time operating a fashion brand that is booming, is a challenge at times, but when you are living life pursuing your passion while surrounded by the ones that you love, there is nothing to complain about. I get the best of all worlds. My daughter is now four years old, and is already taking discarded scraps of fabric from my factory and using it to create designs for her dolls. It feels the dream may not stop with me.

Fashion is not something that I do. It is a part of who I am. It allows me to express myself to the world.

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