Contestant #8: Mona Lucero

Name: Mona Lucero

Company name: Mona Lucero Design Boutique

Years designing: 24

Bio: Mona Lucero was born in San Francisco but raised in Grand Junction. At the age of four she decided she wanted to be an artist, and in 1983 she received her B.F.A. from the University of Colorado.

After arts school she went to New York City to attend Fashion Institute of Technology, where she learned the basics of fashion design.

When Mona returned to Denver, she worked for several manufacturers, learning the ins-and-outs of manufacturing, proper fit and the excitement and intensity of the apparel business. Mona also found that many of her designs were very popular and sold well across the country, giving her the confidence to start her own wholesale line of clothing and bags in 1993.

In 2002, Mona opened her boutique, Mona Lucero Design Boutique, at 2544 15th Street. She carries her own clothing, accessories and bags, as well as that of other local, national and international designers and artists.

Over the years, Mona has been inspired by the women in her family: Her grandmother, who always had a little black dresses and handbag; her older sister, who was always wearing the latest clothing; and her mother, who taught her to go from "nice" to chic with the simple application of red lipstick.

Denver celebrity you'd most like to design for? Cydney Payton, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Robin Rule, owner and director of Rule Gallery. Being leaders in the Denver art world, they look professional, chic and a little funky. In fact, they are actual customers of mine.

What inspires you? (No fair saying everything; be specific.) New cities, great art, thick glossy fashion magazines, stylish people, kind people.

Favorite Denver eatery? Bump 'n' Grind

Favorite local boutique? Mine, of course! 2nd...Eras Vintage. They have amazing vintage dresses and handbags.

Favorite fabric? Anything nubby.

Favorite way to finish seams? Cut the fabric on bias, it won't fray and it floats...

Prints or solids? Prints.

Dogs or cats? Only one cat - Vincent.

Kate Moss or Linda Evangelista? Kate Moss forever.

Favorite guilty pleasure? A kiss and a bite of ice cream -- alternating.

Last book you read? Linda Goodman's "Love Signs."

Red chili or green chile? Green with a thick sauce.

New York or L.A.? New York.

Chloe Dao or Jeffrey Sebelia? Jeffrey Sebelia. Even better...Jay McCarroll.

Loose or tailored? In between.

Jacqueline Kennedy or Jackie Brown? Jackie Brown.

Town or country? City.

Silk charmeuse or silk shantung? Today - shantung...Tomorrow - charmeuse.

Couture or ready-to-wear? Ready-to-wherever.

Curvy or androgynous? Be who you are.

Paris Hilton or Lindsey Lohan? Chloe Sevigny.

Michael Kors or Zac Posen? Richard Tyler.

Jeans or slacks? Jeans.

Bill Ritter or John Hickenlooper? Bill Ritter.

Escalade or Prius? Prius.

Vogue or W? French Vogue.

Favorite current couture designer? John Galliano for Dior.

Favorite past couture designer? Schiaparelli.

Sleek or volume? Sleek.

Form or function? Function follows form.

Favorite place to travel for inspiration? New York and Taos.

Favorite place to travel for fabric? Los Angeles and my imagination.

Polkadots or camouflage? Polkadots.

Pretty or edgy? Pretty edgy.

Heidi Klum or Tim Gunn? Tim. Carry on...

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amy Haimerl