With high hopes, Latina designer heads to NY Fashion Week

Puerto Rican designer Rebeca Tiago at work in her design studio (Courtesy Felipe Torres)

By Nina Terrero (NBCLatino.com)

Rebeca Tiago is packing up her bags full of sewing materials, patterns, and samples and is leaving San Juan, Puerto Rico for New York City’s Fashion Week. At 31-years-old, Tiago is a fashion designer who is well known in Puerto Rico for her chic boutique full of on-trend, locally made items but she’s hoping to make a splash at New York Fashion Week.

Tiago’s Fall/Winter 2012 collection, titled “Destiny”, captures her love for sophisticated design and wearable takes on high-fashion trends. The collection will showcase pale pink, marine blue, light grey and white colors against a textural palate of Chantilly lace for a look that Tiago calls “unexpected, modern, sexy and dramatic.”

“Destiny is definitely my inspiration for my collection,” says Tiago, whose grandmother, Adela, was a successful seamstress and designer in her hometown of Corazal, Puerto Rico. “I dress a self-assured woman who wants to realize her destiny – a woman like my grandmother who successfully empowered herself to create a better life.”

Tiago grew up watching her grandmother sew and design clothing and counts her as her biggest inspiration. Tiago graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of the Sacred Heart in San Juan and afterwards pursued graduate studies in Fashion Design at Miami Art and Design University. After graduating, Tiago returned to Puerto Rico where she worked as an image consultant and personal shopper before launching her own line in 2005, a move she says, that was prompted by her frustration with the lack of quality offerings that spoke to her self-assured, fashionable aesthetic.

Up-and-coming Puerto Rican designer Rebeca Tiago’s Fall/Winter 2012 collection features textural detail and romantic, soft colors.

“I wanted to change the perception that girl in Puerto Rico all have the same clothes that don’t work for their body type,” says Tiago.  “The colors, the fit, and the details – it can be too much sometimes. And you send a message with your image and appearance.”

Seven years later, Tiago shows four clothing collections a year in Puerto Rico and owns a clothing boutique in the chic Condado neighborhood in San Juan. As successful as she is in Puerto Rico, Tiago says that she always had one goal in mind: to take over New York City. With a runway show that’s part of Nolcha Fashion Week’s lineup of independent, innovative designers, she’s making her dreams come true.

“Showing my work in New York City is a huge achievement for me and represents three months of sketching and hard work,” says the designer. “Being part of a show devoted to promoting innovative designers means everything.”

“For me, it’s one step towards where I’m supposed to go. It’s emotional.”

-NINA TERRERO, NBC LATINO STAFF

Follow Nina on Twitter @TheNininsky

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Categories: NGLC Conference

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