Senior Business Major Has Designs on a Fashion Career

Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Daniela Lopez Romero on the quad

Modeling, designing, sewing — when it comes to fashion, senior Daniela Lopez Romero does it all.

It’s been that way for a while. It began, she said, on a visit to her grandmother in Colombia, where she helped make a simple skirt to wear to the beach.

“That was the spark,” she said. “I said ‘Wow, I can make my own clothes.’ I couldn’t believe it.”

If that was the spark, then her sixth-grade family and consumer science class where Lopez Romero learned to sew and the introduction to business course her freshman year of high school were the fuel for her growing fascination and passion for the world of fashion.

Both of her parents are both scientists, and the family moved quite a bit — Lopez Romero was born in Colombia, but lived in New Zealand and Belgium before coming to Kansas City. Traveling gave her a unique perspective into the way people in different places across the globe communicate through clothing.

“There was this worldview shaped by seeing people in other countries, how they act differently and how they dress differently,” she said. “I always fell in love with different cultures and their fashion wherever we went.”

By her senior year in high school, Lopez Romero said she was skipping the homecoming dance to volunteer at Kansas City Fashion Week. It’s given her a unique opportunity to soak up knowledge by helping wherever she was needed. Lopez Romero, who will graduate in May with an undergraduate degree in management, said the experience fostered an appreciation of the aspects of the fashion world that many either don’t see or don’t really pay much attention to.

“I love it because I get to see everything happening in the background,” she said. “When you go to a show, you just see the models walking down the runway and the clothes and the designers. As a volunteer, I’ve been able to see the front of house, the backstage — that’s my favorite part — just seeing everything come together. That’s been really inspiring.”

Lopez Romero said her dream is to produce large fashion shows, which is not to say she hasn’t tackled the more visible aspects of the industry — designing her own collection is on her bucket list, and she has recently been cast as a model for Hannah Kristina Designs in a fall-winter show at the next Kansas City Fashion Week. Putting herself out there and understanding every part of a show, she said, makes her better at what she wants to do for a living.

Lopez Romero’s parents are supportive of her fashion industry dreams, she said — though her father suggested she get a business degree to have a well-rounded skillset when she graduated. Next year, she said she plans to pursue a specialty MBA for fashion professionals and deepen her understanding of the world she loves even more.

“Sometimes you just feel like you’ve found the your thing that you’re good at,” she said. “That’s fashion for me.”