A former model, Jennavave Barbero always wanted to be involved in the fashion industry. She attended SJDC and completed her degrees in both Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design. Upon completion, she moved to San Francisco and earned her BFA in Fashion Design from California College of the Arts.
While still a student at CCA, she worked as an assistant to local designer Jean Cacicedo and won an award in 2002 in the first annual Bay Area Fashion Design Scholarship Show, organized by Our Tribe Productions.
After graduation the young designer struck out on her own and moved to New York. Barbero, who found her current job through a friend from church, cites her spiritual strength as a key factor in her success.
While at BCBG a typical day began at 9:00 a.m. and ended no earlier than 7:00 p.m. "I sourced goods, trim, and sketched like crazy," said Barbero. As associate designer, she had myriad responsibilities: merchandise-line planning with the design director; maintaining the sample room; making sure the pattern maker and sewers were making samples to the specs; helping with fittings; and overseeing trim and fabric development. And that's not to mention the paperwork: she tracked all shipping confirmations, packing slips, POs, and invoices.
While at Winlit, the license division for outerwear for BCBG, among others, she had the opportunity to spread her wings and design for other companies, including Ellen Tracy and Guess. From there, she landed at Tiger J, where she was the head designer for their outwear division in NYC. She expanded into leather, fine wools, and knitted fabrics that were custom designed for her collections.