Accelerate Fashion Design in Puerto Rico

Since she was little, Tayna Vargas showed her passion for fashion design and even prepared herself academically to practice the profession, without knowing that she would become a facilitator for other talents to speed up their own productions.

This, after consolidating a successful career of more than two decades working for renowned brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Ann Taylor the Loft and Mikael Agal, and creating his company Tatzy, specialized in making “ready to wear” clothes for various stores in Puerto Rich.

However, while making her way and reaping triumphs in such a competitive line, the 42-year-old from Aguadilla noted the difficulties faced by local designers to complete their work, in addition to facing tough competition where the price of pieces brought from abroad limits your possibilities.

“When I returned to Puerto Rico in 2012, after studying and working in the United States, I started making accessories and that’s when a friend and client approached me with the idea of ​​developing a brand. That’s where Tatzy was born, from Tayna and Betzy, and we made it a brand with a purpose, so we started selling ‘spandex’ clothes to stores, little suits for tropical climates”, recalled the mother of two young people.

“There was still a bit of resistance from the stores, because they see you as if this is from Puerto Rico, in addition to the fact that the price is more competitive when you produce it here. You begin to compete with brands and lines that come from other countries and that are produced much cheaper than here. But, we continue to produce and impact and produce many collections for local stores in Puerto Rico”, highlighted the businesswoman.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted all lines worldwide, especially the fashion line, so Tayna began looking for a way to continue producing. In this way, she came to the Mountain Creation Industrial Cooperative in Utuado.

“I went there, we were in a pandemic and I told them: ‘I want to make productions with you.’ And they weren’t making school uniforms, which is their forte. It is a women’s cooperative. They were not producing because the schools stopped. So then I thought it was time to do Tatzy,” she added.

Although the proposal seemed to be good, it ran into another stumbling block.

“They (seamstresses) work on production lines; some make the sleeves, others make the buttons and here we work on the production. We don’t do it that way here. I said we are going to produce clothes here, but they did not have the machines or the knowledge, so it was going to be more difficult for me to get to production”, said the graduate of Katherine Gibbs School of Design in New York.

“So we went to produce uniforms at supermarkets, car dealers, I knocked on doors so that they could produce what was easier for them. There I began to make polo shirts, shirts, different productions for companies, I made cushions for Walmart, a Christmas production for them. So I could see that there are people who come to the factory to make bags, aprons, but it happens a lot that they stay in the attempt, ”he argued.

So, he took advantage of the situation to weave a solution to the problem that many clothing and accessory designers were facing.

“That’s when I begin to notice that there is a lot of talent here from people who want to produce and I can be their facilitator to continue making and creating brands so that they stay here locally. I think that we can do many more productions and not have to be bringing from anywhere else, and, in some things I have more talent and some weaknesses and take care of doing that kind of thing, “he said.

This is how ModArte was born.

“We have many schools that teach design and they stay in the attempt because maybe, they only aspire to design. Every time I try to find these talents, I explore why we can’t just stay that I just want to design; it is to know what you like so that you can also make money with what you like”, he pointed out.

“That’s where collaborating comes from, identifying resources and bringing together all these talents to achieve a bank of resources so that these factories that are left working only in times, always have work. We limit ourselves to saying that there is no work and they have to go home and I love getting there and seeing that everything is full of 20 women producing”, she predicted.

Finally, the designer and manager confesses that her motivation is to have a bank of talent that speeds up the production process.

“I help to market and make it easier to produce. We want to continue growing the talent of Puerto Rico, there is a lot, there are a lot of artists here,” she pointed out, inviting fashion creators to join in a common effort.

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