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Stitching cultures together

Sketch. Measure. Pattern. Cut. Pin. Sew. Wrong. Sigh. Unpick. Measure. Pin. Sew. Iron.

Measure. Pin. Sew. Iron. Measure. Pin. Sew. Iron.

This isn’t a broken record. This is the tedious process Nannie Zorrilla, a senior studying FCS apparel entrepreneurship, repeats over and over as she constructs articles of clothing.

“It’s fun to see people wearing what you make,” Zorrilla said. “To be able to translate what you have in your mind into clothing is pretty cool. To have people like what you make is even better.”

Zorrilla is originally from Peru, where she lived with her mother and three siblings. Her father traveled to the United States when she was one to work and send money back to the family.

“Peru is a poor country,” Zorrilla said. “There’s terrorism too. It’s a third world country, so you don’t get paid well and (my family) were on the poor end.”

Zorrilla moved in with her father when she was eighteen and later began her education at BYU-Idaho.

Following the counsel of her mother, Zorrilla decided to pursue apparel entrepreneurship. Her diverse cultural background is something she tries to incorporate into her designing.

“I wanted to feel like I can be any other college kid in the United States but still be true to who I am,” Zorrilla said. “Peru has really rich culture in textiles and fabrics. I want to show how much we have because they do really great things.”


Zorrilla describes her style as being a chic, modernistic take on traditional Peruvian design, aimed at the street fashionable young adult. However, designing isn’t as easy as it may seem, she said.

“I feel like everything has been designed already,” Zorrilla said. “It’s hard for me to think outside the box sometimes. I come up with different ideas and I don’t like them, and then I change them.”

Apparel entrepreneurship is a lot of work, said Zorrilla. Nestled away in the belly of the third floor of the John L. Clarke building are the family consumer science sewing labs, and for the better part of the semester, these rooms essentially become the home of students such as Zorrilla.

On average, Zorrilla will spend up to four hours a day working on her projects. She is currently in the line collection class, a senior-level course where she’s required to produce five separate but corresponding outfits to showcase at the end of the semester fashion show.

The theme of the show this semester is Street Nouveau — a fresh, hip, modernistic style inspired by New York streetwear. It is the perfect opportunity for Zorrilla to model her fashion flair.

“I don’t want to be the same as everybody else,” Zorrilla said. “I don’t necessarily want to be the best. It’s part of my personality to be ‘hidden,’ but at the same time, I want people to remember me. I want to be unique.”


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