SFSU Alum: Intern to Career


San Francisco State University alum Julio Cortez, 23, spends a rather chilly Tuesday afternoon enjoying a large hot cocoa while spilling to Her Campus San Francisco about his life and the journey it took to get to where he is now: as a fashion editor for the popular social marketplace, Threadflip.

It all began in 2008, when Cortez began studying at SF State as a journalism major in hopes of one day getting that big break into the prestigious fashion industry.

“For a little bit, I really was interested in working for a newspaper and reporting about crimes, but fashion was always my [main] interest,” Cortez said.

More than his love for fashion and clothing, Cortez was interested in how the clothes were made, why people wore the clothes they wore, and how it all come together the way we see on the runways or in fashion magazines.

“I had a roommate my freshmen year, who would fix and repurpose vintage clothes and I liked seeing how she tore things apart and put it back together,” said Cortez.

During his demanding college years, one could about always find Cortez behind the latest copy of elite fashion magazines like i-D and V. When asked what the intrigue was behind the magazine subscriptions he said, “Those were what I read instead of reading books in college, I was really in love with this romanticized notion of fashion.”

In his junior year at SF State, Cortez got an internship at a startup company called Threadflip, which did clothing consignment online.

“During that internship is when I realized I didn’t want to be the reporter or bystander anymore, I really wanted to be the person being written about,” Cortez said about his career epiphany. Cortez realized he didn’t want to be the critic behind someone’s work but he wanted to be the fashion designer that was being reviewed.

“In general, with anything I’ve done relating to fashion, I have always gone in with curiosity and wanting to know every angle of it,” Cortez said. Cortez’s understanding of the process of design and fashion came through his experience at Threadflip and his trip to New York Fashion Week last fall.

Cortez’s experience at the 2012 NYFW has been crucial in his view on the fashion industry and how he would behave differently when he reaches the top. “One day when I have my own show, I will be backstage and look to the right and see a nervous intern or photographer like I was and I will make sure to go up to them and tell them that ‘it’s okay’, that’s all I wish I had when I was in that position,” Cortez said.

As far as his current position in his career Cortez said, “I really want to keep doing what I’m doing at Threadflip but I never want to feel guilty about it. I don’t just want to do these things to make money but to do it if it’s changing someone else’s life for the better.” Cortez is gratified knowing that he is apart of a transitioning period in the lives of the customers on Threadflip, where he can help them get rid of the old and emerge into the new.