Now Showing: Mona Lucero and Kotomi Yoshida on fashion
For this year's Now Showing, Westword's fall arts guide (you'll find it tucked into our September 26 issue), we asked artistic movers and shakers to answer a few questions about the state of the arts, both locally and around the world. We'll be rolling out their answers over the next few weeks in pairs that combine both veterans and newcomers in similar disciplines. Today's entry? Fashion designers Mona Lucero and Kotomi Yoshida.
Lucas Powell for Westword Designer Mona Lucero on the runway.
Mona Lucero, designer, Mona Lucero Design
Lucero is a fashion grand dame in these parts: A designer with fine-art roots, she's been honing her skills as an eclectic and one-of-a-kind style-maker in the West for many years. She funneled her creativity through her retail shop, Mona Lucero Design Boutique, for a decade before shutting it down last December in order to spend more time in the studio and less behind a counter; Lucero's clothing can now be seen more regularly in local fashion shows and occasional studio open houses. It's hard not to spot a Mona Lucero -- painstakingly finished and bursting with personal inspirations -- when it sweeps down the street on a happy customer.
What do you think of recent developments in your field, and the current scene?
The Denver fashion scene is continuing to grow with new, more professional fashion shows cropping up, new ambitious designers, and a general will that Denver will be perceived as an important fashion city. I believe we're not there yet, but I also believe we have tons of talent and one day we'll get the respect we're working for.
What could be done to improve the scene?
Our fashion industry needs to work together more; collaboration is key. I believe it's important for Denver designers and others involved in the industry to pay attention to what others are doing and support each other by going to each other's shows, sharing each other's events and photos and being open to what everyone else is doing. Also, many more fashionistas/customers should support the local fashion industry by attending their shows and, most important, buying from local designers.
Who/what has inspired you most in your career?
The positivity and hard work of successful people, whether it be in the arts or other disciplines. I'm inspired by people who work toward making a difference.
Who/what will you be watching for this arts season?
Matt O'Neill, who has been one of the more respected painters in Denver, is creating a new series of abstract paintings for a couple of shows coming in 2014. The use of color, line and shape are unexpected. To understand them, you have to look at them a while. Even when you do study them, you might not get answers -- which to me is a good thing.
For more about Mona Lucero visit her online.
Continue reading for our Q&A with Kotomi Yoshida.