Denver’s Mondo Guerra: a regular guy
by Amanda Sheahan
It is a rare person who can remain humble and close to home even when reaching a national level of popularity. It is even rarer to get the chance to meet such an individual. I was fortunate enough to get this opportunity when meeting Denver’s own Mondo Guerra who was 2nd runner up on the popular TV series “Project Runway.” Mondo first made his appearance on season 8 with a style and attitude all his own, putting Denver on the map in the fashion world. His sense of humor, humbleness, and passion for what he does matches his style in every way. One of a kind.
Recently, Macy’s hosted a “Fashion Face-Off” event to help support the Colorado AIDS Project. The face-off consisted of two members being randomly selected from the audience to style their models in surprise scenarios with limited time to do so. Mondo was contacted to host the event just after he had made a red carpet appearance. “There’s a change in energy in every event. I always go with the best of intentions.” When asked if he was nervous about that night’s events his response was simply “I always get nervous. I’ve done 20 or 30+ events and every event makes me nervous.” Surprising, considering the buzz surrounding this talented young designer’s growing popularity, but he continues by saying “I don’t take myself seriously. I wouldn’t be happy.”
Being a Colorado native, I asked him how he felt about the fashion industry in Denver. His answer: he considers it a blessing.” There are so many talented designers in Colorado, I was just lucky enough to be the first. Denver is a very creative community and it’s important to have us put on the map. We’re small, but strong and what makes any community strong is supporting each other.” He is true to who he is and where he is from, even having his family sitting in the very center of the event. “My inspiration comes from my family. They are my world and I would be nowhere if it wasn’t for their constant support.”
So what does the future hold for the Denver fashion industry according to Mondo Guerra? His hope is that it will just keep getting bigger! Especially since what makes it hard to grow in this industry is a lack of resources. “It’s hard to be as productive and progressive in my career. There is no garment district, and we have limited resources. We don’t have sample rooms or anything like that. We have Joann’s. That’s it. And it’s hard to move forward when you’re trying to make things work from two different resources.”
As our meeting drew to a close, and the event began, there was no difference between Mondo Guerra: Fashion Designer and Mondo Guerra: Everyday Person. He is humble, funny, and kind. His advice to the audience: “Remember where you come from.”
Don’t miss Mondo Guerra at the Denver Style Expo Saturday April 2, 4-9 pm. He will be meeting fans, showing off some original designs and participating in the Denver Top 10 Fashion. He will also be a judge for the Denver Style Awards. Mondo will also be showing his entire new collection, straight from the LA Fashion Week runway, his first to be shown in Denver since 2003!