The world of fashion has become a multi-billion dollar business. You may be surprised to discover how many successful Latinos are in the fashion industry.
Designers and models with Latin American roots have been influencing the fashion industry for years. You don’t have to be a fashionista to recognize the names listed below.
1. Oscar de la Renta (Dominican Republic)
Oscar de la Renta doesn’t need much introduction. He was one of the best-known fashion designers and one of the biggest philanthropists in the industry. He always felt proud of his Dominican Republic origins and his colorful and vibrant creations owe a lot to his home country.
2. Carolina Herrera (Venezuela)
Carolina Herrera entered the fashion world at the age of 42 and took it by storm. Her clothes are now associated with comfort and easy glamour and have been loved by numerous American first ladies. Born in Caracas, she made her career in the United States, and converted herself into the Empress of Manhattan.
3. Narciso Rodríguez (Cuba)
Sometimes all you need to become famous in the fashion industry is one dress. And it was the wedding dress that Rodríguez designed for Carolyn Besset for her wedding with John F. Kennedy Jr. that catapulted him to fame. “No one but Narciso has ever made a simple line look more stunning”, according to American Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
4. Ángel Sánchez (Venezuela)
Angel Sánchez initiated his career in Venezuela, but quickly his fame couldn’t be contained within is country’s boundaries. Models and actors loved his designs and the TV show Project Runway gave him mass popularity. He says his designs are inspired by Latin women from Caracas.
5. Isabel Toledo (Cuba)
She was born and grew up in Cuba but matured and became famous in the US. Remember Michelle Obama’s lemongrass dress from the 2009 Inauguration Ceremony? Well, that was created by Isabel. Sadly, breast cancer took her life in August 2019 and the industry is still looking for someone who can fill her big shoes.
6. Nina García (Colombia)
Nina Garcia fled her natal country at 15 because of drug wars. Now we know her as Elle’s editor-in-chief and a judge in Project Runway. She is the first Latin woman to direct a major fashion magazine, and she says that she got that high thanks to her Latin American background.
7. Giselle Bundchen (Brazil)
Giselle Bundchen is one of the most famous models in the world and it’s not because of her husband New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. She grew up in the South of Brazil and joined a modelling course to correct her posture. That was all she needed to start a career at the age of 14, and she hasn’t stopped since.
8. Gabriela Hearst (Uruguay)
Why do we love her? Well, because apart from being breathtaking, her designs are 99% sustainable. Most of her fabrics are biodegradable and her runway shows are carbon neutral. In our current times when the notion of buying new clothes is slowly becoming passé from the ecological point of view, this Uruguayan designer might have found a solution.
9. Carlos Miele (Brazil)
Carlos Miele brings the best of Brazil to the fashion industry. We love his vibrant colors and geometrical pieces. Recently, he decided to show his new collections in Miami instead of New York, as its culture and climate reminded him more of his Brazilian roots.
10. Adriana Lima (Brazil)
Adriana Lima is another Latin, and another Brazilian renowned model that doesn’t need an introduction. She achieved the impossible in this industry and has walked the runways as a Victoria’s Secret Angel for 19 years. She even has her own wax figure in Madame Tussauds Museum.
These are the biggest Latin names in the fashion industry. Start the conversation on Twitter and share with us who is your favorite model or fashion designer.