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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Southern Colorado Fashion: Rise of a model to CEO

Schakara Arrazola-Tiscareno at Southern Colorado Fashion’s Fall 2023 showcase displaying a piece from RainbowRosies by Celina Padilla. Photo by Madison Lira.

By Madison Lira

Starting from the ground up, Schakara Arrazola-Tiscareno created a fashion boom in Southern Colorado filled with models, designers, photographers, hair/makeup artists, and many more creatives by founding the Southern Colorado Fashion Collective. 

She alone is the producer, director, and founder of Southern Colorado Fashion (SCF). She has taken her previous experience in the modeling industry to bring it to Southern Colorado to help build up a fashion collective in a place that tends to be ignored by the mainstream modeling industry. 

Tiscareno has walked in much of the fashion world, including Denver and New York Fashion Week, alongside traveling internationally for shows. She learned so much from the versatility of each show, as the models themselves would change based on choreography and who the different coordinators and designers were. 

“Once I began to expand and get outside of Denver, it is a little bit more, almost a nitty-gritty when you get to New York Fashion Week. There are so many different tiers. They’re really particular on what they’re looking for and who they like to work with, and they have high expectations,” Tiscareno said. 

From all of this, the one thing she took away and applied to Southern Colorado Fashion is that there is a personal interpretation for fashion everywhere. 

“That’s the beauty of it, is that there’s so much room to not only be expressive but really to be authentic,” she said.

Tiscareno also holds herself to a standard that the mainstream modeling industry shies away from. She refuses to do cuts (cutting models from shows) and does not decide what beauty is and isn’t for Southern Colorado. 

“It’s not really for me to say what beauty looks like or have that standard. I think that’s very important. We have models of all sizes, all ages, and all demographics, and I love that. I love that everyone feels comfortable and that they can truly just be themselves and start to blossom and feel confidence and support,” Tiscareno said.

The difference between the mainstream modeling industry and SCF is that the values rely heavily on inclusivity and accommodation for everybody. Tiscareno loves and supports the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities and wants to give them an outlet for support, love, and confidence for themselves and their respective communities. 

“I really want everyone to be able to be fluid in the way that they express themselves. It’s not up for us to be like, ‘You have to be masculine’ or ‘You have to be feminine.’ We have some models that like to show up and kind of float in between both,” she said. 

The values SCF heavily bases itself on come from Tiscareno’s training that she has done within DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives. “We are really big into honoring everyone. Not only asking what their name is but what are your pronouns like, what do you want to be called by, and what feels more comfortable and best for you. Really being mindful not to put people in windows or labels that can be hindering to them, being mindful of the words that we’re cultivating and the way that we are expressing and communicating with one another. Really allowing this openness not only for me to receive and to listen but that allows constructive criticism and for everyone to truly feel supported. I don’t think that’s often a part of our norms yet, so it’s a great way for everyone to feel honored, to feel safe, and to feel seen,” she said.

Outside of SCF, Tiscareno has owned a holistic business since 2020, and her practices within the business spill over into her work with SCF to help it flourish and let it blossom into a collective filled with beautiful human beings. 

“I’m a reiki master teacher, a death doula educator. Coming to Pueblo, there is a smaller spiritual community than Denver, but it’s beautiful. Just the San Isabel valleys and the natural vortexes and everything that we have here just energetically, it felt really good to continue fostering that. So there’s a lot of people that I work with that I really help them step into a holistic practitioner, serving the community as well. But I really find a lot of reward and beauty with helping people in their awakening journey, helping guide them in their healing journey, helping to facilitate in their spiritual journey. That’s so deeply infused in me that I think that pours into SCF without it really being spoken,” Tiscareno said. 

At the end of her interview with CSU Pueblo’s The TODAY, Tiscareno discussed SCF’s bigger goal(s) and the importance of having a fashion collective in Southern Colorado. 

“Pueblo and Southern Colorado have a bad rep. People will come and be like, ‘Why do people live here?’ or ‘What is there to do?’ If you have that openness, there is so much beauty, and there is so much talent and opportunity here. I think that’s really the thing. Commercial spaces are super expensive down here. There aren’t really that many venues that foster the diversity that we’re bringing and creating. So for all of us to be able to come together and to withstand in numbers, that’s what makes us mighty. That allows us to have a large platform, and then when we get together, that gets people talking, and that gets people going, and I really believe that SCF is going to put Pueblo on the map.”

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