Mariana Corella, Hype and Vice Director of Product Design, Shares her Journey Navigating the Fashion Industry
Mariana Corella, born and raised in Costa Rica, moved to the states to pursue an undergraduate degree in Business from the University of Southern California. As a first-generation college graduate, her education and past experiences with fashion guided her pursuit of improving the industry and correcting its faults. Her family owned a clothing company in Costa Rica, and growing up around different silhouettes, fabrics, categories, and designs, Corella used her first-hand experience to propel her towards a career working in different facets of the fashion world. Her first internships allowed her to work for apparel companies like Vissla and Rip Curl, where she learned about the production processes, creative design ideas, and innovative techniques to produce quality products. Now, Corella is utilizing all her knowledge and experience working as Director of Product Design at Hype and Vice, a collegiate apparel company that sells licensed university clothing to bookstores, boutiques, and retailers.
Founded in 2015, Hype and Vice was founded by two college roommates. Corella joined the team in 2020, and became their first full-time employee. Since then, the company has grown to a team of 50+, where Corella manages her own team of 10, including designers, production managers, photographers, and developers. Under Corella’s leadership, the team creates catalogs and develops new styles, plans production with international teams, approves styles, checks quality and fits, and coordinates product launches. From August to September, 2023, Hype and Vice are releasing their back-to-school product launches and pop-up shops, which will feature the designs that Corella’s team creates just in time for game-day season.
With an ability to maintain on-trend styles in her designs, Corella’s instrumental role in the company’s growth can be attributed to her strong background in innovative fashion design, and her forward-thinking as a business woman. With her help, Hype and Vice has been able to scale its operations and expand their reach, with the company now licensed by over 200 colleges, including prestigious institutions such as Harvard and Yale.
“Success takes all different shapes and sizes, which is the beauty of it because it feels personal to you and what you care about,” says Corella when asked how she would characterize her own success. “Success is a process, it is not a one-and-done event. It is constantly evolving and is a constant process of growing and learning.” She is excited to continue sharing her skills with the world, and defying typical molds that restrict the fashion industry, and in the case of her current occupation, the collegiate apparel industry.
Hype and Vice’s product launches will feature new categories such as rompers, dresses, sets, and new silhouettes and styles for pants and jackets. Corella and the rest of the team have big ideas for expansion on the horizon, and she herself also hopes to continue building up her skill-set and sharing her expertise with fashion lovers across the globe. Having roots in the industry and a love for fashion that runs deep, Corella has proven time and time again that her skills as a businesswoman and innovator show how invaluable she is as a director of product design. She attributes her success to the journey she’s followed her whole life, and the aspirations she’s worked to achieve since her childhood. “Whether success to you is something as tangible as money or as abstract as happiness,” says Corella, “it takes overcoming hardships and obstacles along the way in order to achieve what you desire.”