Francesca Pinillos Ruiz, a senior Fashion Merchandising major from Peru, and Beatrice da Costa, a freshman Fashion Design major and international exchange student from Brazil sat with A Magazine to talk fashion, their home countries, the United States and school.
Fashion isn’t as admired in their home countries as it is in the United States.
da Costa: “America is so much more situated. The fashion here is really taken seriously, that’s what I mostly found when I came here. When you say you’re a fashion design major people say ‘Wow, awesome,’ when you say that in Brazil — and I swear to god it’s so true — nobody says ‘Wow awesome,’ everybody says ‘But why, like how are you spending your life.’ ”
Ruiz: “Fashion isn’t big there [Peru], but it’s weird because we have this huge textile,. We have the fabrics and we have all the things that you need to make fashion a huge thing in Peru, but I think that nobody like explores it, nobody sees it as a career.”
Not only is the fashion different from the U.S., but so is the education.
Ruiz: “I went to a university in Peru, and it’s so different from here. You have to study hard to pass. It’s not like here — you have a lot of resources, and the teachers are willing to help you. They are there for you.”
A passion for fashion and having supportive families are a few similarities da Costa and Pinillos Ruiz share with many other students on campus.
da Costa: “I have to be so grateful about my family because fashion is not well seen in Brazil, so normally when someone says, ‘I want to do fashion’ their parents would say, ‘no,’ so I have to say my parents are amazing for supporting me. They see what I have loved since I was little. They were all in, and I never had a doubt.”
Both students love their home countries and plan to return to help improve and change the situations.
Ruiz: “I love my culture.I love my country. I’m so proud to be Peruvian. I want to help my country out as much as I can, but one of the things that I think every country needs, like mine or Bea’s, they need to educate people. If you don’t educate people they won’t make the right decisions.”
Sometimes the most rewarding experiences are also the most challenging.
da Costa: “[Kent State has] been challenging me a lot because I came from a school that is not as great as this one. Kent is very, very amazing for fashion, so I’m having trouble with class also, but it’s making me grow so much. I miss Brazil yes. I miss my family. I miss the warm soul, but I’m really settling in here. It’s really been an amazing experience.”
Brazil and Peru maybe in a different continent than America, and the political situations are very different, but Kent State still appeals to all kinds of students interested in fashion and pursuing their dreams.
Photos by: Anastasiya Akhundova