303 Magazine: When did you discover your love for designing and fashion?
Felicia Benavidez: I have loved fashion for as long as I can remember. Your girl was voted best dressed back in middle school! I have so many memories of my mom creating dresses when I was a kid. She planted that first seed and made me curious about the sewing process. Curiosity turned into a life mission after I interned for VIBE magazine while in college. I opened an online boutique shortly after but soon realized the inventory I wanted was not available. So, I began to teach myself to sew and create the looks I envisioned. I haven’t stopped designing since.
303: Vintage Frame of Mind is your women’s clothing line which promotes self-love and embraces natural beauty. How did you come to advocate for these values?
FB: I think that self-love is needed before we can spread the love. However, today’s standard of beauty encourages women to love everything but themselves and want everything but what they have. So, I’m here to help empower women by making clothes that make them feel like the queens that they are. I aim to design clothes that compliment a woman’s figure while leaving things for the imagination. Now, that’s sexy!
303: As a young woman of color, what are some challenges you have encountered as a designer?
FB: I personally haven’t faced many challenges as a designer, but I have noticed that the models of color do, so I try to use my platform to give women of color an opportunity to gain exposure through modeling with my brand.
303: What has been your greatest lesson on this journey?
FB: My greatest lesson on this journey has been to trust the process. Trust that I am where I am supposed to be and going where I am supposed to go. The process is never easy so hard work, focus and dedication are required but worth it.
303: This is your first Denver Fashion Week. What are you most excited about?
FB: I am excited about the entire process! From the casting call to the actual show. VFM is a fairly new brand, so having the opportunity to showcase in one of Denver’s largest fashion showcases is a huge blessing.
303: What inspired the name, “Vintage Frame of mind”?
FB: “V” is for values that come from the vintage era. “F” is for the frame that we lace with fashion. “M” is for the morals that have been instilled into your mind. A vintage frame of mind is a lifestyle. It’s the way you carry yourself, the morals and values that you live by, which influences how you dress and [how you] live your life.
303: Of all of the fashion genres, why did you decide to go the streetwear route?
FB: My first love and preference is actually dressmaking. I love to create statement pieces and gowns that are timeless and not exactly trendy. I’d have to say being a Colorado native inspired me to make more streetwear pieces to allow women to be practical yet stylish. Those two things do coexist, believe it or not.
303: What advice do you have for creatives searching for a way to make a name for themselves?
FB: The advice I have for young creatives is to simply put your self out there! The first step is the hardest, but once you get going, everything falls into place. Don’t be afraid to take risks because it is in those moments that you grow the most.