A stack of sketches inspired one-time architecture student Joanne Cordero Reyes to change career paths.
“I realized that all my drawings were of clothes—only one was of a building,” Cordero Reyes says, recalling her desk at the University of Washington. Even as a child, she doodled fashions at her family’s boutique.
Deciding where to study was easy. “Parsons tops the list of fashion and design schools,” notes Cordero Reyes. New York—the longtime home of her beloved grandfather, a world-traveling composer—beckoned, sealing her choice. “I moved to New York and then studied at Parsons in Paris during junior year.”
Cordero Reyes’ remarkable talent has opened doors at top fashion firms such as Vivienne Tam, Reem Accra, Monique Lhuillier, and J. Mendel, netting her prestigious awards along the way. In 2007, Cordero Reyes launched her own line, Vicente Villarin (named for her grandfather), which has brought her celebrity and critical acclaim.
Today Cordero Reyes can be found in Manhattan’s fashion district, designing for Carolina Herrera, a position she describes as “a chance of a lifetime.”