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Valerie Mayen's journey into fashion began when she was born into a Guatemalan household in Corpus Christi, Texas. Turning hand-me-downs into coveted fashions as a child, she would find herself trekking all over the continent to get her undergraduate degree in illustrate and graphic design as a young adult. Nearly a decade ago, she landed in Cleveland, Ohio, taking up study at both The Cleveland Institute of Art and Virginia Marti College of Art and Design. Having ventured into fashion just a few years ago, she immediately took the Midwest by storm with her bold and modern coats, fabulously versatile accessories and brilliantly sewn couture.
While the fashion world is in love the clever, geometrics silhouettes and intricate detail of her line of clothing called Yellowcake, possibly even more impressive is her drive to change the world with her clothing. Since its inception, 5% of Yellowcake's profits from all sales have benefited a non-profit organization geared toward relieving hunger, homelessness, and poverty as well as missionaries worldwide are common recipients each month.
After being turned down for season seven of Project Runway, Valerie remained committed to the selection process and was chosen as a contestant for season eight. "I did the show not just for the months of exposure it'll get for Yellowcake, but for my family, friends and interns that have believed in me and supported me each step of the way. I also did it for Cleveland! I want people to see the potential and talent this city has. The show gives me a platform to prove it to the whole country, every Thursday night for the next four months!"
Valerie is obviously driven to change the face of fashion in Cleveland. Yellowcake isn't all that's on her plate; in the near future she hopes to launch a fashion design and sewing incubator called "Buzz & Growl" that will revolutionize the fashion industry in a town that is desperate for rejuvenation and innovation. Bringing compassion, heart, and true creativity to her work makes this up and coming designer onto watch out for!
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