Fashion is an important element of personal expression and there are fashion designers for style lovers to follow, no matter how individual. Learn about a handful of Puerto Rican fashion designers that you need to have on your radar who are creating interesting, beautiful pieces. After all, you can never have too much fashion inspiration.
Stella Nolasco utilizes ornate fabrics, delicate beading, and lush colors influenced by Puerto Rican heritage. The Drexel University alum has shown her pieces at New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. Nolasco’s designs have been worn by celebrities like actress America Ferrera, former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera, and singer-songwriter Kany Garcia, among others. Keep up with Stella Nolasco and her designs on her Instagram.
Thon started in the fashion world as a student at Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic, and graduated from the Parsons School of Design. Celebrities like musicians Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, and Kany Garcia have worn her designs. She runs the Centro Moda School of Design in Puerto Rico, and has shown a collection at New York Fashion Week.
Luiny Rivera Gelpí
Based in New York, this is a jewelry line named after its creator, Luiny River Gelpí, who is a self-taught designer born in Puerto Rico. The pieces are meant to be bold, yet minimalist designs, are inspired by her travels, and are created with the intention of making a statement. Take a look at the interesting designs on the brand’s Instagram account, which include earrings, necklaces, and rings.
Carlos Alberto’s designs have been worn in many beauty pageants, and he is known for his pageant designs, some of which are showcased on his Instagram account. Alberto considers his designs to be “a way of life” rather than mere fashion. One of his most recent and prominent fashion design jobs involved dressing the current Miss World, the Puerto Rico-born Stephanie Del Valle. Before striking out on his own, Alberto worked with Carlota Alfaro for over a decade, who is one of the best designers that Puerto Rico has ever produced.
Luis Antonio studied at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology before launching his first ready-to-wear collection. Many famous people have worn his designs, including Jennifer Lopez, Luis Fonsi, Jennifer Morrison, Marc Anthony, Don Omar, and Ivy Queen. He showed a collection at New York Fashion Week in 2015 and has worked with the stores Saks Fifth Avenue and NOVUS.
Entrepreneur and fashion designer Sofia Arana was one of the up-and-coming designers who showed her work at the 2014 Nolcha Fashion Week, which takes place during New York Fashion Week and showcases emerging talent. After showing her work there, Arana pivoted to create timeless pieces for “a refined woman.” She’s soon to be opening up a store at Paseo Caribe in San Juan, called The Refined Way. Arana also founded a brand of soaps, called Suds, which utilize a range of natural ingredients for their detoxifying and nourishing properties.