Tag Archives: struggles

Good Luck to Bleed on Designs in Fashion Industry

This friend is a student studying fashion design at FIDM, and she often alters housemates’ old clothes or creates new designs when she doesn’t have schoolwork. She attends one particular class that requires she use a small mannequin and canvas to create fabric patterns.

Three females including myself were in the kitchen when I asked her whether the fashion industry has any superstitions. We held this conversation after a day of work, and we discussed other folk beliefs in the same sitting. The speaker said that it is good luck to bleed on new fashion designs because this means the designer put their ‘blood, sweat and tears’ into the piece.


In the fashion industry, “It is good luck to bleed on things. Like if you’re pinning stuff on your body form, and you prick your finger a little bit, and you get like a little blood on like your costume or your design, it is considered good luck.” The speaker said that she had accidently done this while creating her own designs, and that she learned this tip from a female professor.

Designers are not supposed to bleed on purpose. Doing so ruins the sentiment. I asked if blood was still a good sign if the design were made out of expensive fabric, and the speaker said yes, that’s not a problem because blood is very easy to wash out with hydrogen peroxide and warm water.

The speaker said that this superstition meant a lot to her because she has bled on past designs and believes this helped make these projects successful. “It’s kind of like that statement, like I put my blood sweat and tears into this. So like, I can’t tell you how many countless nights I have cried over literal costumes, trying to get them done. And then when they come out amazing. Like, that’s how I know. Like, I can feel that good luck, because you know, you experience it.


This speaker has struggled to get where she is now. She did not go immediately to FIDM after graduating high school, and she started her first year in Fall 2020. She has needed to share a room with an incompatible roommate, and she has needed to take up two food service jobs to continue working toward her passion even when is is difficult. I think the idea that blood as a symbol of struggle resonates with the speaker in part because she has needed to struggle to complete her designs.

Abuelo Antonio

The informant’s family originated in Cuba. Her mother was born and raised in Cuba but her father was born and raised in America. Her Cuban culture and background comes from her mother’s side and folklore that her mom picked up over the years and shared with her. The folklore from this informant comes from family stories that are shared amongst the family as lessons or as advice. 

“Live Like Abuelo Antonio” 


“My Abuelo Antonio was an early member in my family who grew up in Spain but eventually moved to Cuba. While he was living in Cuba he was extremely poor and he and his wife were going through some rough times. They had no money for food and all they could afford were scraps of bread. Every morning, Abuelo Antonio would put out scraps of bread on the ledge of their house porch and would wait for the pigeons and doves to come take the scraps of bread. When the birds would arrive he would trap them and kill them so he and his wife could have food to eat. Abuelo Antonio was an extremely caring, loving and a giving person who was seen as a saint and it hurt him so much that he had to kill the birds. When he and his wife were able to have enough money to live more comfortably and actually buy food, he swore that for the rest of his life he would feed the birds every single day until the day he finally did die.

When I was a child, my mother would tell me that story which had been told to her by her mother and told to her by her mother and so on, as a reminder to always I guess give back in life, and to put out good vibes and oras into the world. Another lesson that comes from this story is to live how Abuelo Antonio would have lived. That became sort of a thing in my family, everyone wanted to live like Abuelo Antonio, it is sort of a life goal to be like him and we really look up to him, and people use it as a from of advice to others in the family. They would say Live like Abuelo Antonio. Yeah its pretty neat I guess that my family has sort of our own legends and myths that make proverbs.”


When I thought about folklore before, I didn’t realize that folklore could be held within and amongst family members. The specific informant gave me folklore that isn’t necessarily known widely by lots of people but rather held in her family and it is significant to her and important to the family because it actually means something to them. It is a story that advises them on how they should or shouldn’t do things.

Abuelo Antonio sounds like an incredible man and saint. His struggles and the way that he approached them shows to me that he is someone to look up to. The informant expressed to me that he was a saint and I could tell by the way she spoke about him. Having a figure like him to look up to and try to live like is probably beneficial in a family. If they all look up to the same person and base their life after the same person there are probably a lot of similarities within the family.