Twenty-three-year-old Milena Rojas was born and raised in Jundiaí in São Paulo. When she was 17, Rojas and her family moved to Santiago, Chile, where she attended fashion school. “I was always passionate about art,” she explained. “Since a young age, I’ve always expressed myself through writing, drawing, and painting. As I was getting older, I started to experiment with manual work, cutting my own clothes, sewing, creating. Still, I never imagined that I would become a fashion designer.” Moving into fashion was an obvious choice for Rojas, but it took her a long time to realise it, and when she did, it became the only thing she saw herself working as. “That’s when I started fashion school, and I fell in love, each day a little more.” Always creating, Rojas grew up with this burning passion. When it comes to fashion, her first approach was sketching, Rojas then developed a flare or taste for fashion in college, and it grew from there.
Rojas believes in investigation rather than inspiration. She likes to dig into her interests, discover new things about them and be overwhelmed by them. “I like to go really deep every time I’m creating something. I believe in concept development, referents, experimentation and a lot of hard work. Every time my influences are different. My projects always have as their main theme human nature and its environment, although they are always different concepts. That is my conductive thread.”
The design process is a highlight for Rojas, she loves investigating and developing her concepts and then finally materialising them. “But, seeing your creation done, existing in the world, almost alive, is the best feeling ever. And it’s even better when it was made entirely by you. I participate in every step. I have a manufacturing person who helps me, but regardless of it, I participate in the making of every single piece.” She believes the fashion industry already has a lot of problems, so as a designer, she is developing her brand to be as sustainable as possible. “For my upcoming collection, I’m using technologic trash as primary material; they will be in my most iconic pieces of this season. I’m in love with how beautiful the circuits and cables are and what you can do with them. I can’t wait to show it. I also believe that my brand has a value proposition that makes my garments pieces of worship. What I want to achieve is that none of my pieces will be ever disposable.”
Rojas does everything in her brand and has hired a sewing machinist who helps out a lot. “I also have the support of my amazing family; they always help me when they can.” Her brand is fairly new, only a couple of months old, and originated from her final project at college. Rojas graduated in January and started to develop her social media brand and upload previous work from the past few years. She hopes she can keep creating and developing her brand under her principles. “My main goal is to be able to live only from my work and my creations. After Vancouver Fashion Week, I plan to design a line only of basics, using the forms and pattern of my upcoming collection and sell it online. I would love doing that every season. My runway collection and then lower it to basic pieces. I want to be a brand that covers everything and have pieces everyone can have access to.”
At the moment, Rojas is only making one-off pieces. Now that she has graduated, she can now get started on building her business starting with an online store.