How a Local Master Seamstress Became a Celebrated Fashion Designer

Gabriela Martinez is a local fashion designer who specializes in wedding dresses, haute couture, evening dresses and special occasion gowns. She is also a master seamstress with more than 20 years of experience altering and transforming wedding dresses. Although Martinez was born in Los Angeles, she and her family moved to Meoqui Chihuahua, Mexico when she was four years old. She studied fashion design at the Universidad Regional del Norte (URN) in Chihuahua, which helped shape who she is as a designer. For Martinez, being a fashion designer is both enjoyable and impressive. She lives each day ensuring her aspirations and intentions come to life.Martinez red blouseMartinez started creating at a young age and knew she could transform wedding dresses for various clients. “One of my first professional creations was for my older sister. At the time, she was getting married and asked me to design her wedding dress. I was only 17 years old then,” she shared. Although no job is ever perfect, Martinez perseveres through every challenge with her patience and idealist personality. As a designer, she looks up to a few notable figures who have inspired her in more ways than one.

“Coco Chanel inspires me a lot as she transformed fashion in the ’30s and its transcendence to this day. I am inspired by Diane Von Furstenberg’s life because I identify with her. I also love Reem Acra — she has a very exquisite and elegant style,” explained Martinez.

Although not a Colorado native, Martinez believes that with great leaders and plentiful resources, fashion designers in Denver execute great qualities. The industry is growing and this is something that has caught her eye. “I find a lot of support from the fashion community [in Denver]. Photographers, makeup artists, stylists, models and fashion producers all work together — we are like family and very close,” she said.

As someone who never gives up, Martinez is a mentor to current fashion students. She believes knowledge and experience have means to expand to new generations, and she hopes to demonstrate this.

“Never give up. Being a designer takes patience, dedication and hard work. If you really want to be a designer, learn to sew — it is important to know the functionality and construction of your designs.” said Martinez.In the near future, Martinez has a few upcoming projects and collaborations in the works, which are sure to encourage great growth and knowledge within the community. “I am programming workshops in collaboration with the Denver Design Incubator to teach sewing classes starting the last week of November. I will also participate with the Colorado AIDS Project in the next fashion show on December 1 — Red Ball 2019, “said Martinez.

In the next five to 10 years, Martinez will continue to blossom in her creative field. To start, she expanded her sewing and design studio in order to provide better business for her clients. Martinez is also associated with The Altar Bridal Consignment. “We work with brides who want to look unique and perfect for the day of their lives. We also designed, re-styled, altered and made custom wedding dresses — with a line of veils included,” said Martinez. “In the coming years, I would like to produce my collection of wedding dresses and distribute them in recognized bridal shops across the United States.”Martinez skull pattern All photography by Brandon Johnson.

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