Dustin Argumedo’s love for fashion has led him to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.
For someone who has never quite fit in, the 2013 Manzano High School alum is thriving in the atmosphere.
“I’ve always wanted to create,” he says. “It’s an outlet that I’m grateful to have today.”
Argumedo’s always had a love for fashion. Yet it wasn’t until he worked at G by Guess in the Coronado Center during high school that he discovered a possible career.
“When I started working there, I realized there wasn’t a lot of creativity in menswear,” he says.
Argumedo was one of nine students to present at “FIDM DEBUT Show” on July 15, which spotlights the work of FIDM students graduating in the Advanced Fashion Design program.
FIDM is a private college for specialized professional education, preparing students for careers in design, business and entertainment.
“All the DEBUT students found unique inspirations for their collections and we are so proud of them for successfully completing their degrees in Advanced Fashion Design,” says Barbara Bundy, FIDM vice president of education. “They researched their ideas intently. … their collections reflect that hard work whether inspired by heritage, environment, travels or other sources.”
Argumedo presented his first fashion collection during the show.
The title of his menswear collection, “MACHISMO LATINX” is a play on the Latinx term “machismo,” which alludes to the concept of being “manly” and “self-reliant.”
He describes his collection as a combination of tailored, structured looks with comfortable and sleek aspects, made from a combination of tropical wools and knits.
“I knew I wanted to make a men’s collection,” Argumedo says. “The concept was to redefine the term ‘macho.’ In Hispanic culture, there’s a toxic masculinity that exists to this day. If you’re seen as anything different, it’s looked down on. I wanted to create clothes that you can wear and still be seen as manly. I want to take the term back and redefine it.”
Looking back at his collection, Argumedo admits he was influenced by New Mexico.
He used yellow and earth tone colors that somehow worked together.
“I didn’t realize it at first,” he says. “Growing up surrounded by nature and having access to it definitely has shaped me.”
Argumedo cultivated the collection through the nine-month program at FIDM.
There were bumps in the road along the way.
“Due to the pandemic, we had to learn remotely,” he says. “We didn’t have access to all the resources that design students had in previous years. We had to think outside of the box to get our work done.”
Argumedo is thankful for the program and the opportunity to present his first collection.
The bulk of his collection was designed and created in the last two months of the program. He also had the opportunity to assist other design students in preparing for their runway show.
“We were doing other classes and at the end of the day, I was working on patterns and sewing samples,” he says. “Fittings via Zoom were interesting. Though towards the end of the program, we were allowed to actually fit our garments on the models.”
Like many others during the pandemic, Argumedo had to work to get past his creative blocks.
“I decided to focus on the little details to get this collection done and be cohesive,” he says. “Once I did put focus on that, the rest came together.”
After graduation, he plans to continue his education at FIDM to receive his bachelor’s degree and seek an internship with a sustainable brand, such as Patagonia.
His career ambitions are high and include running his own sustainable fashion brand and to be invited to join the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
“I’d love to live in Europe and run a fashion house,” he says. “I do want to have a fashion brand that is 100% sustainable and have zero waste. I think the fashion industry is working on becoming more responsible when it comes to waste. As a designer, I need to lead that change for myself.”