Chances are you’ve probably seen this freelance writer and stylist walking around campus and were struck by her prim, retro-inspired wardrobe, bangs, and sweet disposition (or maybe you just remember her from her Tumblr). There’s more to her than her wardrobe, though: Francheska is fashion editor and stylist at the popular MATTE Mag, in charge of internet and journalism marketing for Condado’s Olivia Boutique and currently on the editing staff of the English department’s literary magazine, Tonguas. She’s also got her own style blog. Feeling overwhelmed? She isn’t.
Don’t all great writing careers start in Paris?
Name: Francheska Natalia Quiñones Rivera
Major: Creative Writing
Hometown: Carolina, Puerto Rico
HCUPR: How did you discover you want to be a writer? When did fashion come into the mix?
Ever since I was young I was enamored by what words can create. I was the kid that had this overjoyed look when the Scholastic Fair came to school… you got out of class just to buy books, I mean, that’s a dream right there! I remember reading and obsessing over Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and imagining every word, every action as my own personal cinematic spectacle of it. When I was around 10, I entered a writing contest and just knew this was my calling. Fashion came into this fine elixir when I would steal away my Mom’s Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar to see these beautiful pieces of clothing. She was the one who opened this new world for me and I have to thank her for it. Her magazines showed me the ways of describing every intricate detail and each garment was pure poetry, so it was the perfect marriage.
HCUPR: Speaking of garments, you have a very distinct sense of style. What and who inspires you?
Aw, thank you! It may seem funny, but my grandfather had so much to do in this department. He introduced me to his grand muses: James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and the great Elvis Presley. I started watching their movies, jamming to their melodies and each had their particular distinction that up ‘til this day is still on trend. I fell in love with elegance and the classic nature of it. The ladylike silhouettes have this certain subtlety of less is more that is truly ravishing. My in-the-now muses would be Olivia Palermo, anything and everything Raf Simons creates for Dior, Dita Von Teese and recently Eleonora Carisi. And with that, I intermix the modern silhouette with a slight charm of the 1950’s lady.
HCUPR: What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in terms of your work?
When I wrote this piece on Ecliptica’s ’14 collection, Pardis. I got such great feedback for it and the designers came up to me and thanked me for capturing their essence in words. After that piece, I’ve gotten offers in freelance writing: that’s why the owners of Olivia Boutique offered me the job I currently have there. I’m just so truly grateful for everything that has happened. I’ve met the greatest of people.
HCUPR: How do you feel social media has changed the way people write about fashion?
I have a love/hate relationship with this subject. The great thing about fashion being accessible throughout social media is that it has been taken off the market from the elite and been handed down to those who have a more realistic view of it. Then again, anyone who thinks something is completely fabulous can create an article about it and proclaim themselves as a blogger. The key is in the details and how they present themselves and many people forget about those elements.
On a recent trip to New York City.
HCUPR: What do you do in your off-time?
Off-time, that sounds so delish. Honestly, you will find me at home binge-watching House of Cards on Netflix, pinning images on Pinterest, obsessing over the latest episodes of Suits and The Following, playing Need for Speed on my PSP or just having a Rocky Balboa marathon while chowing down a homemade fajita (I love to cook). On the going out side, I’d just rather chill with my close friends over a couple of cold ones and talk the night away.
HCUPR: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hmm, well… oh, gosh, this is quite difficult but I’ll give it a go. Hopefully living in either New York, London or Paris, working at a renowned magazine as an editor of some sorts [crosses fingers]. Maybe have a family and an adorable llittle bistro on the side… but mainly it would be just doing what I love. Oh, and traveling! I wish to travel as much as I can. I’m actually fantasizing about all of this now [laughs].
HCUPR:What advice would you give to someone aspiring to ‘make it’ in your field?
Confidence is the most important key to this field. If you have the grandest of passions for style, it will show through and will remind those in the industry why they started. That slight gleam of want will show through and chances are you will snag your way into this creative field. But the main thing about this is to stay humble; success can corrupt even the loveliest of minds.