Q&A: Meylin Rojas on making trash into high fashion
Meylin Rojas is a 2014 graduate with a bachelor's degree in Theatre Design and Technology who recently competed in the Trash 2 Trends fashion show for Keep Orlando Beautiful, which challenges local fashion designers to create runway looks from recyclables or other items headed for a landfill. After winning Top Design in 2014 and the Avant-Garde award in 2015 at the annual Trash 2 Trends fashion show held at SeaWorld, UCF alumna Meylin Rojas competed a third time on Feb. 6.
The Central Florida Future chatted with Rojas on her experiences with Trash 2 Trends as well as her interests in fashion.
CFF: How did you first get into fashion?
Rojas: My parents bought a sewing machine, and I taught myself how to use it and from there I ended up delving into fashion and costume because I loved creating things that others could wear!
CFF: Have you always had an interest in fashion?
Rojas: I’ve always had an interest in high school, but I realized I liked costuming more, so that’s how I got into costuming. That’s why my designs are a little bit weirder than everybody else’s.
CFF: How did you come up with the designs?
Rojas: There were certain designs that I wanted to create that I knew that I could only create in an atmosphere like Trash 2 Trends where I can do anything without being held back by any restrictions. Unlike theatre or fashion, where the collection or designs have to be cohesive, so I think that that’s one thing that drives my designs is because they can be anything that they want to be.
CFF: Because you had such specific instructions with the materials, were there certain ones that you knew that you wanted to use?
Rojas: Not exactly. Starting off. It was mostly telling my roommates and my family that I needed to collect recycled or trash items. Pretty much anything that’s clean and not sticky is what I used. It could be anything really, and then from there I would see what I had a lot of and that helped me decide where to put it and what to use. Other than that, I really don’t have plans before I start – just whatever they give me.
CFF: So you just go with the flow when you start designing and putting it all together?
Rojas: Yeah, definitely. With Trash 2 Trends you have to submit a design in the beginning so that they can see where you’re going with it. But of course when you’re using materials like this, and they act different ways that you’re not used to sometimes, you have to switch it up just a little bit. You really can’t tell until you get them.
CFF: Where has costuming taken you since you’ve graduated UCF? What are you working toward?
Rojas: I’m a freelance costume designer in Miami. Right now, my main job is dance costumes in New World School of the Arts in Miami. But I think at this point in my life I’m not too sure where I want it to go. I’m just doing the best that I can here in Miami and then I guess we’ll see.
CFF: Do you want to become a fashion designer or stay a costumer?
Rojas: I have definitely thought about transitioning to fashion design as well, so I think that would probably be my next move. But at this point I think I’m just looking for a new goal to reach.
CFF: Do you have any advice for students who are looking to get into the fashion industry?
Rojas: For advice I would say that there is a lot of different directions that you can take with a costume or fashion degree, so it's important to take on different internships and jobs to discover what you are truly passionate about within your field and go for it!
Christina Aguis is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.