A woman's touch

A new online order has been submitted. A woman just purchased a gold dress with a black vinyl square on the front containing the words “Estrogen Made Me Do it.”

The order is assembled and almost ready to be shipped. It needs one more personal touch: a hand-written thank-you note from the woman in charge of it all.

Jenesis Laforcarde is a designer and the CEO of Woman’s Touch Apparel, a clothing brand she designed to empower women.

“I want this to be a movement of women helping women,” she says. “I feel like when people wear Woman’s Touch Apparel they automatically become fierce.”

Laforcarde started Woman’s Touch Apparel when she was a sophomore at ASU where she is now a senior majoring in communications.

She says the idea for her clothing line came after she had to write a paper about Saudi Arabian women. Upon doing research, she says she learned that the women are not allowed to drive or go outside unless they have permission, just because they are women.

Laforcarde says she wanted to create a brand solely for women that has a strong message behind it.

“Clothing always inspires people and so if you’re wearing a shirt that is saying ‘Estrogen Made Me Do It’ I mean it’s so cool because you’re representing women — a women movement and empowering women,” she says.

In addition to empowering women, Laforcarde says she wanted to make a difference in the community. She created a charity fashion show called the Brave Wings Fashion Show. The third annual event will be held July 18 and all the proceeds go to Singleton Moms.

Singleton Moms is an organization that helps single moms who are battling cancer. Members pick up children from school as well as cook meals for the families.

“It’s hard to take care of a family and try to take care of yourself,” Laforcarde says. “It’s a great organization and I’m happy to give back to them this year.”

Laforcarde’s mentor Crystal Cardenas has known her for about five years and worked with her at CBS Radio  in the marketing and promotions department. 

 “I saw so much talent in her and could tell that she was really eager to learn and really had a willingness to take on different tasks,” Cardenas says.

Laforcarde, a self-taught designer, has interned with LA Fashion Week, New York Fashion week and Phoenix Fashion Week. 

Owner of Custom Kreations Boutique Mario Gregory sells Laforcarde’s clothes in his Phoenix store.

“She’s making moves a lot quicker than most people I meet,” Gregory says. “She went from participating in the Phoenix Fashion Week Show to having her own show, the Brave Wings Fashion Show.”

Laforcarde says she joined the fashion industry at age 18 when she created a styling company, Love Jenesis Styles.  She says she worked as a stylist with clients who wanted to improve their wardrobe in addition to helping designers with their collections, which led her to realize she wanted to be a designer.

She says her age presented difficulties in the beginning. 

“It was definitely difficult especially being young like I couldn’t tell anybody my age as a stylist because like no one is going to hire a 17-year-old,” Laforcarde says. “I’d always have to be an age that I’m not and be way more mature.”

Laforcarde says she struggled with being young and wearing her heart on her sleeve. She said she learned to speak up for herself and developed thicker skin. Despite overcoming those challenges, Laforcarde says she isn’t quite there yet. 

“I’m not where I want to be,” she says. “There’s still going to be a lot more struggles in the fashion industry that I’m going to have to get through.”

Laforcarde says she keeps busy as a full-time student and CEO of her own clothing brand, but her ambition drives her to continue.

“She’s always hungry to grow and to learn. I think that that’s a trait that just doesn’t exist… regardless of what profession you’re in you either innately have that hungriness and desire or you don’t and she was born with it for sure," Cardenas says. 

Gregory says she is ambitious and hard working.

“She’s following her dreams right away,” he says. “She’s not wasting any time.”

However, being a student and a business owner can be overwhelming at times. 

Laforcarde says, “I do spread myself a little thin and sometimes I have nervous breakdowns because of all the things I have going on. I don’t normally get to have a college life.”

Despite the breakdowns, Laforcarde says the women are the reason she keeps going.

 “At the end of the day, it’s just women helping women and that’s what motivates me,” she says. “I feel like we’re always hating each other instead of helping each other and I think we need more of that.” 

Laforcarde says Woman’s Touch Apparel is in four boutiques including Custom Kreations Boutique. She said the clothing brand is getting sales nationally and internationally.

She says her “Whole Lotta Woman” crop top was featured in a Jordin Sparks’ music video.

Laforcarde says people think that product (‘Whole Lotta Woman’ crop top) means that a woman has to be a plus size, but it simply means that she is embracing being a woman.

She says she wants to be personable and keep her company mainly online at: http://www.womanstouchapparel.com

 “I don’t really want to be a major retailer because I feel like that takes away my movement,” she says. “It’s no longer like you’re getting it from Woman’s Touch because in every package I write a note to whoever purchased it saying ‘thank you’ personally.”

Reach the writer at shyde1@asu.edu and on Twitter @ShelbyHyde.


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