Why we may soon see a Chicana dressing the First Lady
Her smile can look angelic, but Angelica Robles, a fashion designer starting her own business, has the drive and perseverance of a Wall Street big shot with dreams to match.
Published on LatinoLA: February 4, 2002
Born in East L.A. and growing up in both Tijuana and San Diego, Angelica, who now lives in Van Nuys, credits her humble upbringing to her tendency to want bigger and better things.
"I?ve always been a dreamer," she said. "I?ve always wanted to reach for the stars."
So far, Angelica has accomplished one dream.
She is part creator and owner of her own fashion line called MUJER, which caters to the executive woman. Partnering up with Ruth Lopez-Williams, Chairperson of the Latin Business Administration, whom she met in 1994, she has been able to design, create and breathe life into MUJER.
But Angelica, who never went to fashion school, started designing out of pure necessity as a 21-year-old music student who often performed in front of an audience. "I needed nice clothes to go on stage with and the clothes at the stores were too expensive," she said. " Also, I couldn?t find anything like the styles I pictured in my head."
After creating her very first garment, she decided to put an ad featuring her creation in DETAILS magazine just to see what happened. She was flooded with calls and requests for a catalogue. "But I only had one outfit!" she exclaimed.
Since the age of 24, her designs have sold at Melrose Avenue boutiques and have dressed some local Latina executives at high profile events, including Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.
But in true Angelica style, this MUJER is not satisfied with just this level of success. She?s had her mind set on meeting the president and designing a garment for Fist Lady Laura Bush.
"I think she?s the epitome of the executive woman," says Angelica. After seeing her on People magazine she said to herself, "I?m gonna meet her."
On January 1st of this year, she went up to Griffith Park Observatory and ceremonially tied this dream, written on a piece of paper, onto a balloon and let it loose into the star-filled night sky.
Little did she know that exactly four days later, her dream would come true and she would meet the President himself at the Latin Business conference?s Presidential Town Hall meeting in Ontario, California.
Angelica recalled thankfully, "God gave me perfect seats and it all came so easy," She was chosen out of an ocean of 5000 people to ask President Bush any question.
After hearing many people ask about the war on terrorism and the economy, when her turn came around she boldly asked if he could help make it possible for her to design for the First Lady. He commented that she obviously has a great marketing department and that he would give a tape of the conference to his wife.
Ever since, Angelica has been flooded with offers for TV show appearances, interviews, and has had national news coverage at Univision.
"I knew it would happen," she said with an amazing faith "just not this fast."
It?s evident that from where she started to where she is, "los angelitos" up in heaven have been watching over their namesake.
"My dream is still not complete, though," she said with that same starry-eyed faith.
More information on Angelica and Mujer can be found at http://www.mujerinc.com.
Lorena Villegas is a freelance writer, photographer and collector of El Chapulin Colorado memorabilia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org