InspiHERed By spotlights phenomenal women in the Black queer community—everyone from artists to activists. Each week ELIXHER features someone whose personal journey and individual craft inspire us to dream bigger, laugh harder, and love deeper. This week we chat with Gianna Delgadillo, a 20-year-old reconstructive designer and Fashion Merchandising/Design student at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

ELIXHER: When did you begin reconstructing clothes?
GIANNA: I began reconstructing clothes in high school here and there but I got serious with it the summer of 2010.

ELIXHER: What drew you to the craft?
GIANNA: To be honest I was never into fashion before but senior year of high school I got stuck in the fashion class when really I wanted to be in the music class. The first day of class my teacher gave me a picture of a croqui and told me to draw an outfit, and from that day on I fell in love with fashion design.

ELIXHER: What kind of clothes do you reconstruct?
GIANNA: I do any style of clothing but I prefer doing dark, edgy looks. Anything and everything inspires me.

ELIXHER: Describe yourself in three words.
GIANNA: Loyal. Spontaneous. Thoughtful.

ELIXHER: What’s the biggest misconception people have of you?
GIANNA: Many people when they first see me think I’m some super cocky chick who does like mega drugs…no that is not me. [Laughs.]

ELIXHER: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to face and how did you overcome it?
GIANNA: Learning how to accept and love myself. With everything that I’ve been through I’ve learn to truly love and value myself. That I feel is one of the most important things that one should learn.

ELIXHER: What makes you proud to be a part of the Black queer community?
GIANNA: Yes I love being lesbian but I don’t make my sexuality the biggest thing about me. I’m just a regular girl like everyone else who loves girls. [Laughs.]

ELIXHER: What changes would you like to see in the Black queer community?
GIANNA: I would want everyone to see the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender [people] as normal and equal to straight people. I wish there wasn’t such a big segregation or separation between all orientations.

ELIXHER: What’s next for Gianna?
GIANNA: I never like to think ahead, so whatever happens, happens. Life is better unexpected and unplanned, it makes everything more worthwhile.

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