DENVER — Jackie Rodriguez is a teen on a mission.
“It just takes time and imagination. You may see something that looks really rundown. But if you really look at the garment you can turn it into something you’ll really enjoy wearing.”
Rodriguez is shopping at a Denver Goodwill store, looking for clothing she can use to create a 1920’s outfit with a modern twist.
“It was also the decade where pants were introduced to women, I was thinking of going with maybe a jacket with a pants kind of thing,” she explains to a fellow student.
Rodriguez is one of 13 teens competing in the Goodwill fashion design competition. She belongs to the Goodwill’s Youth Career Development Program. Rodriguez competed last year and finished in third place.
This year she wants to win.
Mondo Guerra, the Project Runway All-Stars winner, is impressed with Rodriguez’s determination.
“I applaud you for coming back because that us a sure sign that you are a hard worker and that you are very determined,” Guerra says to Rodriguez.
Guerra is serving as a mentor to the teens for the fourth year in a row.
“Its interesting working with the students because they set the bar really high,” says Guerra. “And they give you a run for your money, too.”
Guerra says Jackie has a good chance of winning the fashion competition because she has grown as a designer.
“When she came into her critique this year she was a lot more confident, she definitely know a lot more about construction. That means she’s worked on her skill-set.”
Rodriguez is looking forward to the big event. And she says she will be happy regardless of the outcome.
“I am just really prepared for it. Whether I come out as the winner or not, just the experience itself has been really great you know. And I think it’s more about the experience than actually winning.”