ARC fashion design student rises to national success


Designer and American River College fashion student Saul Latvanen. Latvanen has debuted collections in two ARC fashion shows as well as Sacramento Fashion Week, LA Fashion Week, and New York Fashion Week. (Photo by Sharriyona Platt)

Sharriyona Platt


By the age of 26, American River College fashion student, Saul Latvanen has had his designs featured in Sacramento Fashion Week, LA Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and two American River College fashion shows.

A native of Michoacan, Mexico, Latvanen moved to the United States in 2005 and has called Sacramento home for 10 years.

With a mother as a seamstress, he grew up surrounded by fabrics and textures, but didn’t have the desire to become a designer until taking his first sewing class at ARC in 2012.

“My mom has always been a seamstress, so I’ve always been around design, but I never thought I would become a designer myself,” said Latvanen.

“I started college wanting to be an elementary teacher, taking ESL and general ed classes,” he said. “I took my first sewing class in 2012 and have been designing ever since.”

Latvanen debuted his first major collection during Sacramento Fashion Week and ARC’s 2012 “Moda” fashion show.

He later went on to have a collection in ARC’s 2013 “Kaleidoscope” fashion show, where he won most creative collection for his men’s collection “The Same Boy You’ve Always Known.”

“He has a really good sense of style and his designs are amazing,” Fashion professor Bonnie Spencer said.

Latvanen has been a part of 10 shows since he began designing four years ago.

He credits his mother as being his biggest inspiration along with his own life experiences.

Though highly influenced by his mother, Latvanen has developed his own unique style of design and fashion, creating couture clothing for men and women.

He will be the alumnus and feature designer in this year’s ARC fashion show “Evoke” where his Fall 2016 collection from New York Fashion Week will be presented.

Fashion professor Diane Grant-Toscano said that it has been an honor having Latvanen as her student and as her teacher’s assistant this semester.

“Saul is an amazing designer,” Grant-Toscano said. “We’re lucky to have him in our program.”

“I am so proud of what he has accomplished as a designer, and I know he will have a great career when he leaves here,” she added.

Latvanen said his greatest accomplishment as a designer was showcasing in the New York Fashion Week earlier this year.

As for his future, he plans to move to New York at the beginning of 2017, where he will work toward branding himself and networking, and to ultimately have his own fashion house.

“I want to have big fashion houses in all of the fashion capitols and have my designs worn by celebrities,” Latvanen said.

A portfolio of his work can be found on his website