Shannen Gallardo

Student, Designer, and Artist in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

It was an amazing honor to be selected as the sole student to represent FIT & NYC in an international design competition called Craft the Leather (CTL) in Italy. While I was in San Miniato, I explored the Tuscan leather district and witnessed the entire production process of Italian vegetable-tanned leather in multiple tanneries. My avant-garde look called “Sueño Despierto”, pictured above, was created using traditional leather tooling, dyeing and manipulation techniques I studied with my CTL group in May 2016. Over the summer I began drafting and pattern making for the annual CTL competition which was initially inspired by the armor and weaponry I observed at the Pisa Museum. After witnessing countless terrorist atrocities on the news over the summer I had already began creating the bullet holster but gave it a "pro-peace twist" by dyeing and molding tiny flowers which I placed in each bullet slip. "Sueño Despierto" which translates to "I dream awake", was created to evoke universal peace and was showcased in Milan for Craft the Leather at Lineapelle in February 2017.

In May 2017 I graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Accessory Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Life since graduating from FIT spring 2017 has been a wild rollercoaster ride.

My life has had amazing highs and devastating lows, I've been kicked when I was down and I have gotten back up stronger each time. Life doesn't always unfold how you want it to; but like a flower blossoming, you can not rush the process and must be patient in order to enjoy its beauty.

I don't think things happen out of coincidence anymore, I think everything happens for a reason, there have been scenarios I can not explain without looking bat shit crazy. I have learned about different perspectives on how to perceive the world.

“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried”. Only you can do your best to hone your skills and you decide how failure affects you. Three steps forward and two steps back is still progress.

P.S. If you have tried to contact me here, I did not receive your email. I did not realize my old email was connected so I have just updated this, my apologies!

  • Work
    • YEMAYA - CUSTOM DESIGNER
  • Education
    • Fashion Institute of Technology