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Fashion Designers of Latin America Returns to New York Fashion Week LIVE Shows

Fashion Designers of Latin America return to LIVE Shows at New York Fashion Week on September 2021. 

FDLA, New York Fashion Week,

Fashion Designers of Latin America return to LIVE shows in September at New York Fashion Week. (Photo courtesy of FDLA)

Fashion Designers of Latin America (FDLA) has announced the official schedule and participating fashion designers for the upcoming FDLA season during New York Fashion Week (NYFW) for its LIVE shows in September. The Fall schedule for SS/2022 FDLA shows will take place during NYFW at its new location, Lavan541, an iconic, exceptional and luxury event venue, located in the heart of Chelsea at 541 W 25th St, New York, NY 10001. The event is produced in adherence to New York State Health Guidelines.

FDLA honorary president, Agatha Ruiz de La Prada. (Photo courtesy of FDLA)

The fashion festivities will kick off with a virtual press conference taking place on Tuesday September 7th at 6:00 pm followed by an up-close in-person showcase featuring the best of Latin-American Fashion Designers with FDLA honorary president Agatha Ruiz de La Prada and special guest Custo Barcelona

FDLA

Fashion Designers of Latin America founder, Albania Rosario. (Photo courtesy of FDLA)

With current progress in the pace of vaccinations and the reopening of New York City, FDLA anticipates the week to feature a return to traditional in-person runway shows and a continuation of digital shows produced in adherence to New York State Health Guidelines. FDLA will require all participating staff, designers, models and all guests to be fully vaccinated.

“Anyone attending our shows will be asked to show proof of vaccination as we encourage and support the broader industry to follow suit and protect the wellbeing of our fashion community this season during the shows. We look forward to a strong coming back this fashion season and to celebrate the best of Latin American fashion in both physical and digital presentations,” said Albania Rosario, Founder at FDLA. 

You might be interested: Fashion shows must go on says Fashion Designers of Latin America Albania Rosario 

Dayana Leon FDLA. (Photo courtesy of FDLA)

FDLA is showcasing emergent designers Dante Luxury Footwear Mexico, Dayana Leon Venezuela Giannina Azar Dominican Republic, Glenkora Comte Ecuador, Indira & Isidro Mexico, Idol Jose Venezuela, Jose Ventura Dominican Republic, Leti Faviani Chile, Paris Rodriguez Colombia, Rosita Hurtado Bolivia, Samantha Telfair Puerto Rico, Yirko Sivirich Peru, Yas Gonzalez Cuba. Visit FDLA Designers to learn more.

New York Fashion Week, Fashion Designers of Latin America

FDLA New York Fashion Week agenda. (Photo courtesy of FDLA)

Fireside chat with Jose Forteza: Diversity and LGBTQ+ inclusion in media

Condé Nast Senior Editor for Mexico and Latin America for Vogue, GQ and AD, Jose Forteza, sat one-on-one with Fashion Designers of Latin America’s founder, Albania Rosario, during fireside chat at the third annual Latinas in Business Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit, where they discussed the important topic of diversity and inclusion in mainstream media. Touching on body positivity, ethnic and racial inclusion, and LGBTQ+ representation and visibility, their fireside chat delved into how the media can support Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs and be more inclusive of their stories. 

Jose Forteza, diversity and inclusion in media

Condé Nast Senior Editor for Mexico and Latin America for Vogue, GQ and AD, Jose Forteza speaks on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the media.

Born in Havana of Spanish and Cuban descent, José Forteza has lived in Europe, Dominican Republic and the United States. Currently, Forteza is the Senior Editor of Condé Nast (Vogue, GQ and AD) for Mexico and Latin America, and has been in Condé Nast Publications for more than 20 years.

The fascinating creator has explored every aspect of the arts including dance, music and publishing. He is a TV writer, producer and radio host. He has been nominated for an Emmy Award and is a Producer Grammy Award winner.

An expert in the media world, Forteza shared insights on how mainstream media can support Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs, share their stories, and be more inclusive of the diverse multitude of women in our communities. 

Fireside Chat with Jose Forteza on how mainstream media can support women entrepreneurs 

The 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit, held virtually on June 10th, connected women entrepreneurs, business owners, and industry leaders in a powerful, educational experience aimed to give women entrepreneurs the tools they need to grow their businesses and THRIVE! post-pandemic. 

From panels and deep-dive workshops, to our high-powered fireside chat here with Jose Forteza, leaders and experts shared their knowledge and experience to further empower and inspire our community of women entrepreneurs. 

Forteza’s conversation with FDLA’s Albania Rosario touched on the impact of mainstream media and how the media can help to support women entrepreneurs and women-owned brands and businesses to be more inclusive of diversity within the community. 

Albania opened the conversation by asking Jose to speak on the topic of plus size models and the body positivity movement that we have been seeing over the past several years in recent media. 

Albania: The body acceptance among consumers has led several media outlets to feature models with diverse body shapes and sizes. How has the audience reacted to these non-traditional models and how society views the plus size battle in body and health? 

Jose: Well this is something that started, I would say like ten years ago, and now has settled down with very strong, strong, strong acceptance levels from the audience and from the media outlets at the same time….First of all, all the media started showing different size models and ethnic models. At the beginning some outlets were hesitant to do it, but then step by step it’s been increasingly positive. Right now, I would say that, especially for in the case of Vogue Latin America, where I work, it’s nothing out of the usual thing if we include different different size models and different ethnic models, we are just including beautiful women, talented women, and that’s all that matters. 

Missed the conversation? View the full chat below and Subscribe to Latinas In Business on YouTube to catch up on our other 2021 WEES highlights and future videos!   

Inclusivity for LGBTQ+ Latinx in the media 

Jose Forteza and Albania continued their conversation of diversity and inclusion in media by touching on the inclusion of LGBTQ+ Latinx narratives and why this representation is important in the media. 

As many know, June is Pride Month, a time when the LGBTQ+ community comes together in celebration. Often marked by parades, festivals, and concerts across the globe, Pride is about community and visibility, both a celebration but also a movement. The historical roots of Pride is often forgotten beneath the parades and parties, but Pride Month is also a month of remembrance and tribute for those who participated in the Stonewall Riots. 

LGBTQ+

Why diversity and inclusion in media matters. (Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash)

The Stonewall Riots began on n New York on June 28, 1969, when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village, which resulted in bar patrons, staff, and neighborhood residents rioting onto Christopher Street outside. Among the many leaders of the riots was a black, trans, bisexual woman, Marsha P. Johnson, leading the movement to continue over six days with protests. The message of these protests was a demand for the establishment of places where LGBT+ people could go and be open about their sexual orientation without fear of arrest.

Following the Stonewall Riots came the first Pride Parade, organized by Brenda Howard as the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade a year after the Stonewall Riots. This eventually morphed into what we now know as the New York City Pride March and was the catalyst for the formation of similar parades and marches across the world.

Pride month reminds us of the struggles LGBTQ+ people have endured just to be able to be themselves in the open without shame or fear. In 1969, the Stonewall Riots fought for the right to gather, to have a community, to feel safe and seen. Similarly, the push for inclusion and representation of LGBTQ+ identities in the mainstream media is a continuation of this fight to be seen and accepted. 

Albania and Jose continued their conversation by discussing how the mainstream media has evolved over recent years to be more accepting and inclusive of all identities and sexualities. 

Albania: How is the media reflecting the LGBTQ+ visibility issue and how inclusive are the outlets being with trans and lesbian women when approaching the subject of empowering women? 

Jose: Well, honestly that has been a slower process. And I wouldn’t be honest if I said that all the media outlets are embracing the diversity in terms of sexual preferences and lifestyle.  Fortunately, most of them, many them–again in our case Conde Nast, Vogue, GQ–we have reached the point where, again, what matters is what a person is able to give society and what a person has to inspire society. It doesn’t matter if they are a member of the LGBTIAQ+ community or not, for us everything is mainstream. For us what should be important is what these people are showing society and what these people are giving to society….Now it’s more important than ever for the media outlets to reflect them all…and show what they can give and set as an example to succeed in society. 

You might be interested: Latina community leader in the Bronx inspiring service across gender and cultures

Jose goes on to discuss how in the past, media outlets were often focused on being one thing, such as a fashion magazine or lifestyle magazine, but now these outlets are simply “platforms” to show society all that is possible and positive for society. Platforms now are celebrating the differences and bringing diverse stories to greater audiences, from body positivity and racial and ethic inclusion to LGBTQ+ visibility. Diversity and inclusion in these platforms helps show others that their stories are important and valuable and that success can be possible for them too.

Vogue Senior Editor Latin America Jose Forteza and Univision Correspondent Daneida Polanco to support THRIVE! 2021 WEES

Condé Nast Senior Editor for Mexico and Latin America for Vogue, GQ and AD, Jose Forteza, will sit one-on-one with Fashion Designers of Latin America’s founder Albania Rosario while Univision Entertainment Correspondent Daneida Polanco will be the MC at the third annual Latinas in Business Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit.

Jose Forteza, Albania Rosario, 2021 WEES

Vogue Senior Editor Latin America, Jose Forteza and Fashion Designers of Latin America’s founder, Albania Rosario, to sit in Fire-Side Chat at 2021 WEES.

Celebrities are stepping up to support Latinas and minority women entrepreneurs at the 2021 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit (2021 WEES), a unique virtual conference that takes place on June 10, 2021 from 1:30pm to 6:30pm. 

Condé Nast Senior Editor for Mexico and Latin America Jose Forteza (Vogue, AD and GQ) and Univision Entertainment Correspondent Daneida Polanco will participate at the upcoming event to help promote the mission of Latinas in Business Inc.  Registration is now open at https://2021wees.eventbrite.com/.

Born in Havana of Spanish and Cuban descent, José Forteza has lived in Europe, Dominican Republic and the United States. Currently, Forteza is the Senior Editor of Condé Nast (Vogue, GQ and AD) for Mexico and Latin America, and has been in Condé Nast Publications for more than 20 years.

The fascinating creator has explored every aspect of the arts including dance, music and publishing. He is a TV writer, producer and radio host. He has been nominated for an Emmy Award and is a Producer Grammy Award winner.

Daneida Polanco

Univision Entertainment Correspondent, Daneida Polanco. (Photo courtesy Daneida Polanco)

“I expect this Fireside to bring some light on a difficult topic in the Fashion and Luxury industries, which is the lack of real inclusion of minority women not only as protagonists but also as a huge and upcoming market. With some exceptions, women of color are still largely invisible in mainstream media,” said Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc.

Daneida Polanco is currently the New York correspondent for “Primer Impacto”, Univision Network, one of the most popular TV shows for the Hispanic Market worldwide. Born in San Francisco de Macorís, Dominican Republic. This dashing Latina arrived in the United States when she was 18 years old and soon began studying Mass Media Arts at the Bronx Community College in New York. She continued to work her way up to become one of the most thought-after Spanish television correspondents. 

Baumann continued…“Latinas and other women entrepreneurs are a striking force in the US economy; and a powerful market that spends 9 times in beauty and hair products than their white counterparts. They cannot be left behind. We are grateful to leaders like Jose Forteza and Daneida Polanco who are supporting our mission to keep women entrepreneurs not only surviving but also thriving during the difficult pandemic economic transition,” said Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc.

You might be interested: THRIVE! What to expect from deep-dive workshops at 2021 WEES

2021 WEES, Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit,

Register Now for this must-attend event

FDLA, New York Fashion Week 2021

FDLA announces digital shows and lineup for NY Fashion Week 2021

Fashion Designers of Latin America Announces Participating Designers for the FDLA Digital Shows at New York Fashion Week February 2021. 

FDLA, New York Fashion Week 2021

fashiondesignersoflatinamerica FDLA DIGITAL SEGUNDA VERSIÓN DIGITAL 2021. Febrero 15-17, 2021. NYFW FW/2021.

FDLA goes digital once more for NY FW2021

Fashion Designers of Latin America will be going digital for the second time at New York Fashion Week as lock-down endures. This past September, FDLA launched their first all digital show, turning to new innovative forms of media to bring their fashion shows to audiences across the world. Despite the pandemic, the show went on! The FDLA Shows during Fashion Week will continue its runway showcase once again through the FDLA Digital Platform.

Content that will appear on FDLA Digital site and all the platforms associated with the event will range from digital storytelling documentaries to a stream of new collections and digital look-books. The diversity of the initiative will be related to what designers are able to produce during the world crisis of COVID-19, and will also continue to reflect the new strain of branding, marketing, and communication that has taken hold during the pandemic. 

FDLA, New York Fashion Week 2021

fashiondesignersoflatinamerica FDLA DIGITAL SEGUNDA VERSIÓN DIGITAL 2021 Febrero 15-17, 2021. NYFW FW/2021.

Instagram lives, social media posts, zoom conferences, and direct-to-consumer e-tail have only become more integral to fashion brands during this lockdown period, showing that direct engagement with customers and fans is more essential than ever.

The FDLA digital platform will also promote virtual showrooms, that will help connect brands with retailers, adding a business component to the week. 

“It is essential to look at the future and the opportunity to change, collaborate and innovate. Many of our businesses have always embraced FDLA as a platform for not just fashion but for its influence on society, identity, and culture,” said FDLA CEO and founder, Albania Rosario. “The current pandemic is leading us all to reflect more poignantly on the society we live in and how we want to live our lives and build businesses when we get through this. The other side of this crisis, we hope, will be about sustainability, creativity, and products that you value, respect, cherish.”

FDLA FW2021 Lineup

The 2021 New York Fashion Week lineup for FDLA Digital Shows Designers will feature special guests:

Agatha Ruiz de La Prada and Custo Barcelona from Spain, & international guest designer Dorin Negrau from Romania.

Designer Agatha Ruiz de La Prada on runway at past FDLA show. (Photo courtesy Albania Rosario)

FDLA Digital FW2021 Participating Designers: 

Gianina Azar from Dominican Republic, Benito Fernandez from Argentina, Keyther Estevez from Dominican Republic, Yirko Sivirich from Peru, Leti Faviani from Chile, Indira & Isidro (Jewelry Collection) from Mexico, Prince Julio Cesar, Idol Jose, Dayana Leon, Carlos Sierra from Venezuela.

WATCH FDLA DIGITAL SHOWS IN TIME SQUARE! 

 Are you in NYC? If you are, stop by & watch some of our best FDLA Digital moments in one of the largest screens of Time Square during NYFW | This Monday and Tuesday February 15 & 16 | Staring at 12 noon.

Giant Time Square Billboard Located at 44 Street & Broadway Avenue. Time Square New York City.

For more information and to watch live, visit www.fdla.co

12 latina leaders

12 Latina leaders honored in 2020

This past year has been challenging like no other but among the turbulent times, powerful Latinas rose up as inspirational leaders. As we look back on this year here at Latinas In Business, let us take a moment to honor and celebrate our Latina Leaders of 2020 and reflect on their inspirational journeys and the wisdom they have shared with us. 

Our 2020 Latina Leaders

Latina Leader of January: Judy Justin 

professional photography

Judy Justin, founder at Judy Justin Photography

In January,  U.S. Navy veteran, mother, and a professional photographer, Judy Justin taught us all about the power of confidence and the importance of our images in personal branding. What began as a hobby for Judy soon became her flourishing business, Judy Justin Photography. Judy shared how she was drawn to portrait photography especially, because it allows her to connect with her clients on a more personal level. Through that personal connection, her clients become more relaxed and confident during their sessions, and that confidence is key to creating the perfect image. 

For the fellow entrepreneurs, Judy suggested that we all especially take care of our images. Images are everything in branding. 

“A good set of professional portraits or pictures can say so much about you. It is sad when you see people in high positions -especially on social media- with pictures cropped from a wedding or social pictures, or worst yet, no picture at all! Your image is your first business card, and it speaks volumes about you and your business.” 

As we head into a new January, let us be mindful of our images and infuse them with confidence and authenticity. 

Latina Leader of February: Jacqueline Camacho 

Visionary social entrepreneur and Latina leader, Jacqueline Camacho.

In February, visionary social entrepreneur, Jacqueline Camacho taught us to be fearless and go for our dreams. Her life motto: “Taking off is optional, landing on your dreams is mandatory.” Leading by example, Jacqueline has soared for her own dreams and achieved so much in a short time. At only 36, she has founded two award-winning companies, established two nonprofit organizations, published sixteen books, created over ten products, and held dozens of events around the world. She also achieved her personal dream of becoming a sports airplane pilot! 

Jacqueline showed us all that anything is possible. Often referred to as a “dream catcher,” Jacqueline uses her strategies as a speaker, author, and entrepreneur to support thousands of women to live a life of significance. Additionally, she created the anthology book series,  Today’s Inspired Latina to share the success stories of Latinas and inspire hope and motivation “for anyone sitting on a dream and thinking it can’t come true.” 

Latina Leader of March: Sara Peña

community empowerment

Sara Pena, Director, Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development at NJ Department of State.

In March, professional and community, Sara Peña, shared with us the many lessons she has learned about community empowerment, self-empowerment, and success. As a Newark native and daughter of immigrant parents, she has strived in her career to empower Latinos, especially the youth, through advocacy, legislature, and mentorship. 

Currently she is the Director of the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development in the NJ Department of State, as well as the founder of the Boys to Leaders Foundation. Through her work as a community leader, Sara has created opportunities for young Latinos and provided  leadership training, educational programs, and positive personal and professional development. 

Sara also shared with us her 5 best tips for self-empowerment and success: Understand Finances, Grow Personally, Build and Nurture Relationships, and Self-Care. You can read all about them and more in Sara’s feature article

Latina Leader of April:  Wendy Garcia

resources for women

Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer of the NYC Office of the Comptroller

In April, as the COVID pandemic hit, Latinas In Business hosted a Virtual Meeting: COVID-19: NY Resources for Minority and Women Small Businesses (Public and Private), to share financial assistance and other resources from federal, state, and City government, and the private sector. Here, guest speaker Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer from the Office of the New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, provided crucial information on resources for minorities, women, and all small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

As Chief Diversity Officer, Wendy Garcia is responsible for increasing contracting opportunities for Women- and Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and managing the Comptroller Office’s internal supplier diversity initiative, as well as other diversity related projects across all bureaus of the agency. Ms. Garcia also leads the Comptroller’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth through Diversity and Inclusion – a group comprised of national, local, corporate, and government experts seeking to increase supplier diversity in the public and private sectors.

Latina Leader of May: Alicia Puig 

Alicia Puig, Co-founder of PxP Contemporary.

In May, Alicia Puig introduced us to the world of digital art galleries as the COVID pandemic kept us stuck at home. Alicia co-founded  PxP Contemporary with artist Ekaterina Popova. The platform was founded as a fully digital art gallery that connects collectors with high-quality, affordable artworks. Alicia and Ekaterina created PxP as a way to challenge the traditional art gallery model and make the process of buying art a more accessible, digital-friendly experience. And it came at the perfect time too! 

As we all became confined to our homes, the PxP gallery provided an escape from our boredom. The digital gallery, even in non-COVID times, is also a great way to make art more accessible to everyone. 

“It was a deliberate choice that we embraced being fully digital from the beginning, and I’m glad we did,” Alicia said. Additionally, PxP strived for inclusivity of all identities in the artists they represent. “Being a minority and understanding what it’s like to not have certain advantages helped Kat and I identify a gap in our industry and seek to address it via our gallery.” 

Looking back, we are so glad to have had PxP brighten our lockdown with beautiful, diverse art. 

Latina Leader of June: Albania Rosario

Albania Rosario, founder and CEO, Fashion Designers of Latin America.

In June, Albania showed us the power of innovation and adapting to our new post-COVID world. As more and more events were being canceled due to the pandemic, Albania and her team at Fashion Designers of Latin America (FDLA) were innovating and crafting new ways to bring their fashion show to New York Fashion Week. They decided to go virtual, creating a digital experience for audiences across the world. 

We were inspired by Albania’s perseverance during these tough times. Through FDLA, she helped support other struggling artists and designers, shining a spotlight on their stories and fundraising through her project “Las Caras Detrás De La Moda En Latino América.” The campaign features hundreds of video clips from designers across the globe telling their stories and testimonies about how the pandemic has affected their businesses and what they are doing to help.

“I strongly believe that every bad situation comes with a new opportunity but we must be ready to see it,” says Albania. “If we focus only on the negative, it will be impossible to find new opportunities. We have to face the obstacles that come across our path. This is what life is about.” 

Latina Leader of July: Jessica Asencio 

Jessica K Asencio

Jessica K Asencio (RIP) (Photo Courtesy of Jessica’s friends)

In July, we remembered and celebrated the life of Latina leader, Jessica Asencio.  Born in Ecuador and raised in Brooklyn, NYC, Jessica dedicated her life to supporting Latino-Hispanic causes and uplifting their voices in the workplace. Jessica became a D&I leader, and was recognized as a Diversity Champion at JPMorgan Chase.

She also served on the Global Adelante Board–JPMorgan Chase’s Latino/Hispanic Business Resource Group– and founded the Latino Networks Coalition (LNC), originally inaugurated in 2010 by JPMorgan Chase, Deloitte and Thomson Reuters. The coalition was launched with additional partners including American Express, Bank of America, Citibank, Credit Suisse and The New York Times.

Jessica was remembered by friends, family, and colleagues as an extraordinary and passionate leader who left a lasting impact on everyone she met.

“Jessica Asencio was an incredible diversity and inclusion leader and a leader in Hispanic causes, but most importantly she was an incredible friend,” said Patricia Pacheco de Baez, Bank of America HOLA NY Executive Advisory Board Emeritus Chair.

“Jessica made everyone feel we were part of something bigger than ourselves, even before knowing what we were a part of,” said friend and colleague Frank D. Sanchez. 

“She was a leader who led by example with optimism, strength, devotion, and focus,” says Alicia Garcia, friend, and Latino Networks Coalition’s Leader.

Latina Leader of September: Beth Marmolejos

In September, Beth Marmolejos was a champion for change. As a business leader, activist and advocate, Beth made her 2020 a time for collaboration. Some of her personal highlights of 2020 included community driven projects such as co-founding the FLAG (Front Line Appreciation Group) of Greater Wayne and advocated for the opening of the 1st Inclusion Playground in Wayne, NJ. Later in the year, Beth also co-hosted Latina In Business’  first Virtual 2020 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit which gathered national and international speakers for an inspirational event focused on promoting “The Power of Collaborations in a Post-COVID World.”  

“Collaborations are vital to achieve success and soar! ‘The Power of Collaboration’ created a nеw energy that I felt was ‘bіggеr than our individual efforts.’ We effесtіvеlу put together resources, energy, tаlеntѕ and gоаlѕ to раvеѕ thе wау for thе ѕuссеѕѕ that we had рlаnned tоgеthеr achieving unexpected benefits,” said Beth. 

Beth’s personal mottos for getting through this year has been #RiseUpTogether. Together, we are all more powerful and successful. 

Latina Leader of October: Maria Elena Salinas

Maria Elena Salinas

Maria Elena Salinas, award-winning journalist and speaker.

In October, Latinas In Business hosted the Regain Our Latino Power event and we were honored to have award-winning journalist Maria Elena Salinas as keynote speaker. The event brought together influential Latino leaders to discuss important topics such as Latinxs essential workers, Latinxs and the economy, Immigration Reform, Deportations and Incarceration of Latino Children.

In a career that spans nearly four decades, Salinas has interviewed world leaders and covered virtually every major national and international news event of our time. Her work has earned the top awards presented in broadcasting, including multiple Emmys, a Peabody, Gracie Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.

While at CBS News, Salinas has contributed to the network’s coverage of the 2020 election including primetime coverage of Super Tuesday and the Democratic and Republican national conventions. Salinas also anchored the poignant CBS News documentary “Pandemia: Latinos In Crisis,” an hour-long, sweeping look at the Latinx community, along with other communities of color, who continues to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic while fulfilling essential roles across the country.

Her tremendous drive, talent, and success is truly an inspiration to us all. 

Latina Leader of November: Maria Piastre

In November Maria Piastre reminded us that success is possible, even in traditionally male-dominated industries such as the metal industry. President of  Metallix Refining Inc. Maria said, “The only limits are the ones you set yourself.” 

When Maria first joined Metallix in 2006, she never thought she would one day be President. However, through perseverance and hard-work, she climbed the ladder and found herself in that very position today. Her story reminds us all that nothing is impossible. 

Throughout her early career, Maria’s tenacity for success and recognition became her armor against the many inequalities she would encounter. Later these inequalities would form the foundation for future campaigns and ultimately help her achieve her goals and dreams.

She shared with Latinas In Business, “As an immigrant to the US, I know only too well the challenges we all will encounter, especially for minority groups. The road will not always be smooth, and regardless of your cultural background, you should believe in yourself, your self-worth, your ability to succeed and that your qualities will always shine through to achieve rewards.” 

Latina Leader of December: Mariela Dabbah

Mariela Dabbah, TEDx and International speaker, award-winning, best-selling author and go-to corporate authority for Fortune 500 companies. 

Finally, this month, TEDx and International speaker, award-winning, best-selling author, Mariela Dabbah, showed us that the fight for gender equality in the workplace is far from over. The pandemic unfortunately has had adverse effects on working women. Mariela shared some of these insights with us, speaking on how many women and minorities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. 

Recent research shows women have been much more affected by the pandemic, with one in four considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce. 

“This is connected to the fact that women and particularly women with diverse backgrounds and with disabilities have less resources needed to support them at this time. Primarily, reasons include women tending to be the person in charge of childcare, but also, they generally make less than their male counterparts. When a decision needs to be made of who in the household will quit their job, it’s usually women,” said Mariela. 

Amid these statistics, Mariela and her team rose to help women struggling through this time.

“We launched the #InclusionIsNotOnPause initiative to remind everyone that we needed to keep our eyes on the gender-inclusion ball or we’d lose a lot of our hard-earned gains of the past few decades. This initiative provides a set of tactics that organizations can implement to openly show their support for inclusion of all its talent.”

As we enter the new year, let us all remember the lessons and wisdom we have learned from our Latina leaders and carry these insights into the new year. We can’t wait to see what more we will learn in 2021. Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year! 

New York Fashion Week goes digital: FDLA announces virtual fashion shows

New York Fashion Week is going to look a bit different this year. As Covid-19 continues to keep us at home, the iconic fashion event is finding new, innovative ways to bring its runway shows to audiences.

Fashion Designers of Latin America (FDLA) president, Albania Rosario, announced that this fall, FDLA’s shows “are going to be held entirely digitally,” opening a new door to the world of runway shows.

NYFW: FDLA September 11-16, 2020 (Photo courtesy Albania Rosario)

NY Fashion Week goes digital

So what can we expect from a digital fashion week? Instagram lives, social media posts, zoom conferences, livestreams, and so much more.

It might seem daunting to convert a traditional fashion show into a digital experience. Many may even say it simply is not possible.

FDLA runway show (Photo courtesy Albania Rosario

“The idea of organizing fashion shows during global Covid-19 may seem impossible, but instead of giving up hope, the fashion industry is envisioning new ways to communicate in times of crisis.”

Especially in the age of technology and social media, fashion designers and show producers are now more equipped than ever to put on amazing and engaging digital shows.

NYFW: FDLA September 11-16, 2020 (Photo courtesy Albania Rosario)

The types of content that will appear on FDLA’s site and all platforms associated with the event will range from digital storytelling documentaries to a stream of new collections and digital look-books. The FDLA digital platform will also contain virtual showrooms that will help connect brands with retailers.

FDLA’s Fashion Week lineup

The online shows will take place during the previously scheduled dates for New York Fashion Week: from September 11 to 16, 2020. The lineup for FDLA digital shows will include special guests Agatha Ruiz de La Prada and Custo Barcelona from Spain. Also, joining the virtual movement for the first time, a FDLA international guest, Dorin Negrau from Romania.

Special guests Agatha Ruiz de La Prada (Photo courtesy Albania Rosario)

Other participating FDLA designers include: Gianina Azar from Dominican Republic, Benito Fernandez & Marianela Balbi from Argentina, Toribio & Donato from Costa Rica, Rosita Hurtado & Reyna Quispe from Bolivia, Leti Faviani from Chile, Astrid Carolina from Colombia, Idol Jose, Dayana Leon, Carlos Sierra & Prince Julio Cesar from Venezuela.

FDLA Digital will also launch the ‘FDLA Rising Star of Fashion Series’ featuring Yirko Sivirich from Peru.

You might be interested: Selina Ringel’s Film “39 Weeks” Captures the Reality of Pregnancy During Covid-19

Innovation for the future of fashion

Moving online will not stop the fashion world from spinning. New York Fashion Week is known around the globe as THE fashion event, and nothing will stop the show from going on.

(Photo courtesy Albania Rosario)

FDLA is wholeheartedly embracing the changes and taking this opportunity to innovate and evolve their platform to keep the show going.

“It is essential to look at the future and the opportunity to change, collaborate and innovate,” says Albania. “Many of our businesses have always embraced FDLA as a platform for not just fashion but for its influence on society, identity, and culture. The current pandemic is leading us all to reflect more poignantly on the society we live in and how we want to live our lives and build businesses when we get through this. The other side of this crisis, we hope will be about sustainability, creativity, and products that you value, respect, cherish.”

NYFW: FDLA September 11-16, 2020 (Photo courtesy Albania Rosario)

This is only the beginning of a new era for fashion and runway shows. We’re so ready to experience digital fashion shows! Are you?

fashion shows

Fashion shows must go on says Fashion Designers of Latin America Albania Rosario

The future of fashion shows is evolving before our very eyes. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, industries across the globe have been forced to innovate and adapt quickly to stay afloat. At the forefront of the Latinx fashion industry, Albania Rosario has taken on the task of adapting fashion shows during Covid-19. 

The future of fashion and fashion shows

The past few months have been riddled with uncertainty as countless industries face difficulties. Even the powerhouse fashion industry has now been greatly impacted, with hundreds of fashion shows and important events around the world being cancelled since March, countless stores being shut down or bankrupt, and orders and supply change suspended.

fashion shows

Albania Rosario, founder and CEO, Fashion Designers of Latin America (Photo courtesy Albania Rosario)

And it is not just the fashion designers that have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, but the whole chain of workers that make fashion possible.

Albania Rosario, CEO and founder of Fashion Designers of Latin America (FDLA) has seen first hand how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone in the industry from dress makers, seamstresses, pattern makers, models, makeup artists, stylists, photographers, fashion directors and producers, the list goes on. All these people make a living and depend on the industry to support them and their families. 

“I personally know that hundreds of our designers had no choice but to shut down their workplace, leaving thousands of fashion workers without a job,” says Albania. 

As we enter the summer months and more events continue to be cancelled or postponed, many in the industry wonder how they will stay afloat and what will become of anticipated events such as the reknown New York Fashion Week.  

Fortunately this powerhouse industry is full of creative spirits who are finding innovative ways to adapt and evolve. For many designers and companies adapting fashion shows during Covid-19 will mean embracing technologies and creating digital virtual experiences in place of physical shows. 

The evolution of fashion shows

The fashion show has long been a tradition in the fashion industry, dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s in the form of fashion “parades” that began in Paris and where later imported to the U.S. These parades, like our modern day runway shows, were a way for designers and department stores to advertise the latest clothing trends to potential buyers. 

(Photo Credit courtesy Albania Rosario)

The fashion parades soon evolved into more structured, theatrical shows hosted by retailers. Presented with narratives and themes, these shows became popular throughout the mid-20th century. Then in the 70s and 80s American designers began to host their own private shows separate from retailers. However, it wasn’t until the early 90s that the fashion shows we know today came to be. 

Forced into cramped spaces that often exceeded capacity, the fashion shows of the early 90s were prone to mishaps from ceilings falling on models to generators blowing out. These mishaps eventually lead to New York Fashion Week finding its home in Bryant Park, a venue where all the shows could be held together in one place. 

Since then, the runway has continued to evolve into ever more dramatic and entertaining spectacles. With the innovation of technology in the last decade more and more fashion shows have been incorporating digital components to their extravaganza including livestreams on TV and social media. 

(Photo Credit courtesy Albania Rosario)

In 2010, London Fashion Week was the first to allow viewing via livestream. Since then, many runway shows have embraced the use of technology to expand their global reach. And these trends will only rise as the industry continues adapting fashion shows during Covid-19. 

“I know that designers are innovating and starting to believe in the power of technology and digital platforms,” says Albania. “I see most of them already using social media and e-tailing (Electronic Retailing) more than ever.” 

Moving forward this year, Albania says we can expect to see more online fashion shows and digital content such as look-books, brand videos, designer Q&As, and even podcasts. 

“You can see that international platforms such as Shanghai Fashion Week, Mexico Fashion Week, and even recognized high-end brands like Chanel have already opted to do their shows digitally, offering a virtual experience to their audience and I strongly believe this is the new trend in fashion at least for the rest of 2020. Virtual fashion experience rather than traditional showcase.” 

(Photo Credit courtesy Albania Rosario)

FDLA’s Spring/Summer 2021 shows will also be joining the digital sphere this September during New York Fashion Week. Instead of physical shows, the catwalk shows of FDLA will be completely digital, grounded in digital storytelling with a stream on new collections shown virtually and available on FDLA’s website and all social networks. 

The FDLA digital platform will also contain virtual showrooms that will help connect brands with retailers, adding a business component to the week. 

“It is essential to look at the future and the opportunity to change, collaborate and innovate,” says Albania. “Many of our businesses have always embraced FDLA as a platform for not just fashion but for its influence on society, identity, and culture. The current pandemic is leading us all to reflect more poignantly on the society we live in and how we want to live our lives and build businesses when we get through this. The other side of this crisis, we hope will be about sustainability, creativity, and products that you value, respect, cherish.”

fashion shows

(Photo Credit courtesy Albania Rosario)

The faces behind Latin America fashion 

Adapting fashion shows during Covid-19 is only one aspect of change that Albania is working on through FDLA.

Another major project brought about by the pandemic is FDLA’s storytelling fundraiser campaign, Las Caras Detrás De La Moda En Latino América. The campaign features hundreds of video clips from designers across the globe telling their stories and testimonies about how the pandemic has affected their businesses and what they are doing to help. 

The goal of this campaign is to raise funds for the FDLA Project, a marketplace / E-commerce platform for the use of Latinx designers and upcoming designers who have been impacted by Covid-19 to help them reinstate and rebuild moving forward. 

“Many of our designers are still working from their homes making thousands of face masks to donate to the most needed countries in Latin America, so I decided to start a campaign in order to raise funds for the FDLA Project,” says Albania. “The cost of this project’s development is over $50,000 and I am hoping through this campaign to be able to raise these funds to bring this idea to life.” 

In addition to their Covid-19 fund, FDLA has also launched an online school, FDLA Academy online where they are offering free and low cost classes for everyone–from beginners to advanced students–who is looking to learn a new skill during the quarantine. 

An opportunity to innovate 
fashion shows

(Photo Credit courtesy Albania Rosario)

Throughout all the hardships this time has brought on the world, one positive is that it has taught us all a thing or two about adapting, innovating, and finding new opportunities in a bad scenario. 

“I strongly believe that every bad situation comes with a new opportunity but we must be ready to see it,” says Albania. “If we focus only on the negative, it will be impossible to find new opportunities. We have to face the obstacles that come across our path. This is what life is about.” 

Albania is using this time as an opportunity to innovate, learn, create, embrace technology and focus on the essentials. 

“Focus on what people need,” she says. “The glamour and haute couture should be placed on hold for now.” 

This mindset is rippling throughout the industry as more and more designers reconsider how they make their garments and focus on what is more essential rather than what is trendy or high end. 

We are watching the fashion industry evolve and transform before our very eyes as a new chapter in the history of fashion shows is written. It may not seem like revolutionary changes are happening yet, but soon we will look back at this time and wonder how the fashion world existed without virtual shows being commonplace.  

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Albania began FDLA when she saw a need for change in the industry. 

“Ten years ago I had a vision: I was going to build a platform that would allow Latinx designers to be part of the most exciting week of fashion in the world, New York Fashion Week. Ten years later, our Latinx designers are officially part of the scene at New York Fashion Week. I created a powerful platform that connects and builds bridges of fashion and opportunities across Latin America. I brought a fresh perspective to the fashion capital of the world. FDLA is that platform.” 

Now, Albania continues to push for innovation in the industry as she works toward adapting fashion shows during Covid-19 to the digital realm and re-imagine the way we experience the runway.