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Designer Samantha Telfair, thrives with her collection at NYFW

Samantha Telfair to present collection set to defy expectations during New York Fashion Week hosted by Fashion Designers of Latin America

Puerto Rican, Bronx born and raised, Samantha Telfair has earned the reputation as an energetic, exciting and strong leader in the fashion industry with over 10 years of experience.

theMERGER is Sam’s luxury contemporary brand. With it, she merges Uptown and Downtown NYC energy into chic ready-to-wear pieces. Her collection will come to life during the Fashion Designers of Latin America showcase during New York Fashion Week LIVE on September 8, 2021at 8 pm at Lavan 541 NYC.

Samantha Telfair

Samantha Telfair, founder of theMERGER. (Image via LatinxNewswire)

Her collection, theMERGER. State of Mind, is “inspired by the good times, the bad times, and the times we feel ourselves falling face first into this thing called life.” Through it, Sam details the not-so smooth voyage she’s faced. Her designs weave together to tell the story of where she is and where she comes from, creating a collection of empowerment which can only be described as a New York State of Mind.

“theMERGER. State of Mind collection embodies the energy of my hometown. It personifies the dual nature of the city; romantic but gritty, high-fashion with a city-slicker edge,” says Sam.

“This featured collection is more than designs down a runway,” she continues, “It’s my homecoming parade! It’s my tribute to the city that raised and shaped me. I’ve come a long way from my days on the 6, Just like the song DeJa Vu: If it wasn’t for the Bronx…”

theMERGER

themerger.nyc We’re O U T S I D E 🗽
#themergerstateofmind

Right from the beginning, Sam was high-profile. Early in her career she began as a wardrobe stylist dressing celebrities for red carpet appearances, editorial photo shoots, media appearances and music videos before making the shift from stylist to designer. However, it was her former husband, an NBA player who was convicted of gun possession, that had dragged her name through the media. Still, Sam did not let this define her and she continued to push through with her career, establishing herself as a major designer with pieces being worn by Ciara (Self Magazine), Josephine Skriver (Sports Illustrated Swimsuit), Julia Michaels and Angela Simmons. This soon led Sam and theMERGER to global recognition, and a front row seat at the FDLA show at NYFW.

You might be interested: Rosita Hurtado shares how she transformed a childhood passion into a successful design export

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. 

NYFW, New York Fashion Week, FDLA

FDLA New York Fashion Week agenda. (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, including Sam representing Puerto Rico and FDLA honorary president Agatha Ruiz de La Prada and special guest Custo Barcelona.

For ticket/show information: fdla.co/access 

Press: fdla.co/press

Rosita Hurtado

Rosita Hurtado shares how she transformed a childhood passion into a successful design export

Rosita Hurtado is a fashion designer and entrepreneur who’s known for creating the fashion brand Rosita Hurtado and Rosita Hurtado Bridal. She is also the founder of Rosita Hurtado Menswear, Ixoye, Rosita Hurtado Shoes, and the perfume La Rose by Rosita Hurtado.

An accomplished designer with a career spanning 37 years, her work has been featured across the globe at events such as New York Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week, and Los Angeles Fashion Week, and more and worn by stars such as  Eva Longoria, Lucia Mendez, Lupita Ferrer, Gloria Trevi, and Ximena Duque. 

As a Latina designer and part of Fashion Designers of Latin America (FDLA), Rosita’s work draws inspiration from her cultural roots and heritage, blending Latin American tradition with modern fashion. 

Rosita Hurtado

Fashion designer and entrepreneur, Rosita Hurtado. (Photo courtesy Rosita Hurtado)

From homemade fashion shows to professional runways

For as long as she can remember, Rosita has lived in the world of fashion and design. Born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, her early years were filled with fabric and sewing as she watched her seamstress aunts work at their shops. Her mother was also a natural designer, creating homemade clothes for Rosita. With these teachers in her life, Rosita grew up watching and learning the craft of sewing and design that would eventually become her life’s passion. 

“At seven years old I was making garments for my friends and putting on fashion shows on the patio at my home,” Rosita recounted. 

This passion for fashion and design that began in childhood has since taken her around the world. At the age of 18, Rosita had the opportunity to travel to Brazil where she studied design at Yocanda Atelier in Porto Alegre Brazil. Later, she continued her studies in Paris, France at the Dominique school, before moving to London, England to study industrial pattern making. Finally, Rosita completed her education at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida, USA.

Designs by Rosita Hurtado. (Photo source: IxoyeUSA)

Following her desire to create, Rosita went on to launch various professional clothing lines. Her collections have appeared internationally alongside accomplished designers such as Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, Tommy Hillfiiger, Alexandre Mac Queen. As a seasoned designer with a career spanning nearly four decades, her work as appeared at Paris Pret a porte, Fashion Week of the Americas, Texvecal in Santiago de Chile, Puerto Rico Fashion Week, Ecua moda, Los Angeles Fashion Week, Bolivia Fashion Parade, New York Fashion Week and more. 

However, like most entrepreneurs who have found success, the road was not always easy. In her long career, Rosita has faced her share of challenges and obstacles but she has always persevered with a positive attitude overcoming anything in her way. As a young designer, she went from small business owner to successfully expanding to become a top business in Bolivia. Then she moved to the USA to start anew. Starting from zero in a new country where she knew nobody was an incredible challenge but also a crucial learning experience for the entrepreneur. She put in the work, began networking and promoting herself, doing interviews, anything she could to advance her business. Rosita’s love and passion for design fueled her with the perseverance to overcome her obstacles. 

Rosita Hurtado

Rosita shares her advice on overcoming career obstacles. (Photo courtesy Rosita Hurtado)

The lesson she learned, and that she hopes others will carry with them, is this: Know that nothing in life is easy, everything comes with sacrifice, but if you have a focus and drive and put in the work, you will get through anything and accomplish your goals. 

You might be interested: Fashion Designers of Latin America Returns to New York Fashion Week LIVE Shows

Weaving stories of Latin American culture into garments 

One goal that guides Rosita’s work, is showcasing the beauty of Latin America through her garments. Rosita’s designs often blend vibrant colors and fabrics to create pieces that tell a story. Her collection, Viva México, is one example of this, blending urban casual with Latin American culture. The line was inspired by some of Mexico’s most important figures and monuments, bringing culture, history, and tradition together in stunning garments. 

“It is an urban casual collection with a cultural purpose,” said Rosita describing the collection IxoyeUSA. “Inspired by four icons of Mexican history: Frida Kahlo, Maria Felix, Cantinflas and Juan Gabriel, and also in the architecture of Mexico.” 

The collection, which includes tops, skirts, accessories, and more, was first presented during Bolivian Fashion Week in the Dominican Republic and is now available throughout various shops in Acapulco, Cancun and Playa del Carmen, as well as online through IxoyeUSA.

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Viva Mexico, Angel de la Independencia skirt. (Photo source: IxoyeUSA)

“I created the Ixoye line, a casual urban fashion with cultural purpose which is being recognized worldwide for its originality, to show the world through the clothing Latin American culture,” said Rosita on FDLA.co.

Her recent 2021 collection, featured at New York Fashion Week, is another symbolic collection. Named “Arcoíris” –Rainbow in Spanish– the collection is the perfect symbol for the year following a global pandemic. Focusing on vibrant and sparkling garments featuring the main colors of the rainbow, Rosita described the collection as representing “hope and renewal.” 


As a seasoned designer, Rosita shares her advice with other young and aspiring women looking to venture into the vibrant world of fashion or longing to start their own venture. 

The first step, she says, is knowing what you want. From a young age she knew she wanted to work with fabric and design like her aunts and mother. Find what’s calling out to you. Then, get an education in that field. Learn everything you can. Get practical hands-on experience as well. This is so important, especially in an industry such as fashion where there are so many avenues to pursue from designing to merchandising and event planning. Finally, follow your passion and love what you do. 

Maternity made fashionable, Designer Laura Diaz-Alberto creates stylish looks for expecting moms

Carolina Herrera dresses Michelle Obama

michelle-obama-dress

First lady Michelle Obama, left, and President Barack Obama wait for the arrival of French President François Hollande for a State Dinner at the North Portico of the White House on February 11, 2014, in Washington. The first lady’s gorgeous gown made headlines Wednesday morning.

Michelle Obama chose a Venezuelan-American designer for the gown she wore Tuesday to the state dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande. Read more