The Qwillery would like to welcome Sandra Botero Mounts of Heroicouture. I met Sandra at Ace Comic Con held in Long Island this past December. The first things I noticed about her was her contagious smile and her killer outfit. I inquired about her Wonder Woman-themed dress and was amazed that she designed and created it herself.
Tracey Maknis: Sandra, could you please tell our readers a bit about Heroicouture?
Sandra Botero Mounts: I’ve been a huge Wonder Woman fan since I was 7 years old and began reading comics, back when girls didn’t do that sort of thing. Fast forward to a few years ago when I started going to Comic Conventions with my husband, Paul Mounts, who is a comic color artist. I wanted to wear clothing that showed my “geekiness/nerdiness” in my favorite fandoms. I didn’t find much clothing that fit my criteria: sophisticated, flattering, and appropriate for a woman in her forties to wear. There is a lot of beautiful nerd fashion out there that meets 1 or 2 parts of the criteria, but not all three. Therefore, I just started making my own clothing. The first con I wore my clothing to, I had a lot of positive comments and requests to make the same items for other women. The next con after that was the same. I finally decided now that I am 50, it is time to take this idea to the public and offer my designs to women who are looking for something different.
TM: What career path were you on prior to designing Geek and Nerd Fashions?
SBM: Would you believe that my career is far different than designing fashion? I am a Spanish High School teacher and have been teaching for 20 years. I teach at an online public school for the state I live in and it offers great flexibility instead of being in a brick and mortar school, so I’m able to do both my job and my passion as well as travel to cons.
TM: How big is your current collection and do you take commissions?
SBM: Due to the fact that Heroicouture is in the inception stage, the collection is quite small right now. I have 5 different dress silhouettes, 2 skirts and 2 tops that I offer right now with a choice in fabric design. I absolutely take commissions!
TM: You obviously have a passion for the entertainment industry; tell us how it helps to spark your creative juices.
SBM: Growing up in the 70’s, during the Women’s movement and the ERA, I just felt that Wonder Woman was someone I wanted to be like; strong, compassionate, intelligent, and honestly, also pretty. I wanted to learn all I could about Wonder Woman and in doing my research as a young girl, I realized that she was based off of the Roman Goddess Diana in mythology. I started to read all mythology I could find and then realized that there is a strong connection between Ancient Art and Masters Art and mythology. I kept finding correlations between art and mythology and I would see that appear in the comics as well. From then on, I also fell in love with art and even went to Spain to study Art History and Antiquities when I was in my 20’s. Mix all my passions in blender and you get “fandom fashion”!
TM: Who are some of your favorite artists and why.
SBM: This is a tough one! I’m going to stick with the comic world exclusively for this question. I am in constant awe of the work my daughter (Jamie L. Botero) does as an up and coming illustrator. She is truly amazing! She has even designed some fabrics for our collection. My husband (Paul Mounts) is like a sorcerer with his skills. He plainly brings life to black and white drawings. All the nuances he includes are simply incredible. Now, as a fan and a Wonder Woman fan, I must say the José Luis Garcia López is the master! He is the artist of the Wonder Woman of the 70’s that I read in my youth. I even refer to him as “El Maestro”.
TM: What is your favorite piece to date?
SBM: No, I can’t choose! Don’t make me!
TM: Is there a cool story you'd like to share about a commission or a convention?
SBM: It wasn’t exactly a commission, but I was fortunate enough to meet Gal Gadot ON my 50th birthday thanks to my husband. I wore a dress that I made just for the occasion. I also made a special one of a kind scarf with hand embroidery to give to Gal Gadot. She was so gracious when I gave it to her and just kept asking me “You made this? You did this; you made this with your own hands?” It was the best birthday I’ve ever had!
TM: What's new and exciting for 2018?
SBM: I’m working with some companies right now trying to get licensing to make custom fabrics for our designs. Hopefully that will all work out. If not, then the timing is just off, but it doesn’t mean “no”. We’re still and infant company therefore, there are a lot of aspects that we are working on to really get Heroicouture going.