It was like a fairy tale.
The garments embellished with intricate embroidery and sewed-in sequins were shining beneath the bright runway lights.
However, imagine these romantic-ethereal pieces walking down the streets of Milan with the moon shining bright among the dark star-less sky, instead of a runway inside a tent in Toronto.
This was what Paola Gamero was inspired by – midnight in Milan. We’ve heard of midnight in Paris, but Gamero introduced a different dynamic by presenting an Italian-inspired collection.
Before knowing what the theme was, it was clear that the piece had a strong Italian influence because of the slight baroque-inspired garments that hit the runway.
She isn’t Italian herself, in fact she’s from Peru but she went to school in Milan for fashion. Gamero attended Istituto Marangoni.
Gamero didn’t always wear the designer belt with her OOTDs (outfit of the day). Before becoming a designer, she was a suit-and-tie type of girl with a career in business administration back in Lima.
In Canada, the average salary of a woman working in business administration can go up towards over $60,000 a year.
There are two paths in life we come across: the path towards contentment or the path towards happiness. Someone can be making a satisfying income working a nine-to-five job from within a cubicle or someone could be designing collections being featured on international runways.
Would you rather be happy or content?
In this case, Gamero chose the path to happiness.
“I just realized that something was missing in my life,” said Gamero. “I was working but I had no passion for what I was doing.”
After realizing she wanted to become a designer, Gamero started to search up fashion schools and eventually was well on her way to Marangoni supported by the money she saved up from her previous job.
She planned out her journey strategically by overcoming any big or small obstacles that came her way. A big one was the language barrier at Marangoni, in Milan, Italy. Gamero only spoke Spanish and English.
“Marangoni has two options, you can either study in English or in Italian. Since I didn’t speak Italian I decided to take it in English,” said Gamero.
After completing her studies in Milan, Gamero headed back to Peru and hit the nitro button on her fashion career.
Gamero worked very hard to complete collections by contacting stores and buyers in Peru about her designs. She eventually caught the attention of top bloggers and international stars like actress Devika Bhise.
“Devika attended my show in New York, during NYFW, she fell in love with one of the designs, her manager contacted Sandra [Rodriguez] and it was such a coincidence because after New York Sandra was coming to Toronto for work (TIFF), so it was meant to be,” said Gamero.
Sandra Rodriguez is Gamero’s publicist that acts as somewhat the fairy god mother in her fairy tale.
The two met during Vancouver fashion week where Rodriguez was in charge of the international press and media. Her job was bringing media from different countries to cover fashion week.
“I needed help with my backstage [at Vancover fashion week] and she offered to help me,” said Gamero. “We felt a click from the very first moment.”
Rodriguez helped pursue Gamero’s dream just like any other fairy godmother or publicist would do. Together they’ve taken on New York, Toronto, and Vancouver fashion week.
Now with Lima fashion week coming, the duo will be showcasing Gamero’s 2016 fall/winter collection titled “MEZZANOTTE” which means midnight in Italian.
“It has been almost a year, and three fashion weeks of working together,” said Gamero.
Two years after building her fashion empire, the 26-year-old designer plans to reach a higher level of international recognition and continue making all fashion lovers’ fairy tales come to life.