The Latin Fashion Designers You Need to Know
From established names to emerging talent, there’s a whole horde of fashion designers that continue to fly under the radar when it comes to their latin roots. The best way to channel their style? Adopt some of the best Latin designers into your wardrobe. According to the experts at Monederosmart.com, these are the ones to watch – and wear – this season and the next.
Oscar de la Renta
One of the world’s leading fashion designers, Oscar de la Renta was born and raised in the Dominican Republic’s capital city, Santo Domingo. At the age of 18, he left to study painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid and his illustrative skills landed an apprenticeship at Cristobal Balenciaga.
Following stints at Lanvin and Elizabeth Arden, he launched his eponymous label to widespread acclaim in 1965. The couture-like ready-to-wear collections were adored for their beautiful ornamentation, details, fabrics and embroideries, and successful lines of fragrance, bridal and homeware followed. The designer paid homage to his background with fragrance names like Latin Light, Mi Corazón and Santo Domingo.
Manuel Blahnik Rodríguez, otherwise known as Manolo Blahnik, was born in Canary Islands to a Spanish mother and Czech father. Manolo Blahnik started producing shoes in 1971, and his towering stilettos paved the way for the return of refined, feminine style. The designer has since become one of the most esteemed and well-known shoe designers, and is loved for his elegant, high-heeled creations such as the iconic jewel-embellished Hangisi and Nadira pumps.
Born as María Carolina Josefina Pacanins y Niño in Caracas, Venezuela, Carolina Herrera launched her eponymous label in 1981. Dressing Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Michelle Obama in her signature sophisticated designs, Carolina Herrera’s elegant gowns and bold, patterned dresses have become a fixture on red carpets.
Placed firmly on the fashion stage after designing Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s wedding dress in 1996, Narciso Rodriguez launched the first women’s ready-to-wear collection under his namesake label in 1997. The Cuban-American designer has gone on to win a number of awards, including becoming the first designer ever to win CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year awards two years running. Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue, summed it up when she said, “No one but Narciso has ever made a simple line look more stunning.”
Chile-born Maria Cornejo moved to England when she was a child. As well as working as a creative consultant for major retailers such as Joseph, Tehen and Jigsaw, the designer has launched her own signature ‘Maria Cornejo’ collection and open the New York-based store known as Zero + Maria Cornejo. She’s known the simplicity, ease and freedom of her designs, and innovative cutting techniques.
One half of the design duo behind New York-based label Proenza Schouler, Lazaro Hernandez met partner Jack McCollough while they were both studying at the renowned Parsons School of Design. Born in Miami to Spanish/Cuban parents, the Latino designer has won five CFDA Awards for his detail-focused, artisanal Proenza Schouler creations.