Dominican fashion, an Industry Constantly Changing
It is said by Héctor Manuel Valdez, a Dominican film director, in his documentary "Republic of Color", Dominican Republic is colored by its landscapes, its coastline, its sun and its sunsets. For this reason, perhaps, in the fashion industry, the great representatives have gathered color and texture in the arrangement of their creations. Designers like Socrates Mckinney or Jose Jhan are examples of this.
Ideologist for turning Dominican fashion into a country brand, Mckinney created DominicanaModa eleven years ago, which is currently the most important event in the Caribbean, Central America and one of the five most relevant in Latin America with the participation of designers like Israel Elie Saab, who, being an international benchmark, bets on this scenario to gain a space in the regional market. Fashion as an economic engine, beyond being perceived as a vanities exercise, is a global industry that annually generates about USD $ 1.2 billion, and gives jobs to more than four million people. In the Dominican Republic this industry is constantly growing.
In DominicanaModa, through stra - tegic alliances, Dominican desig - ners are showing fashion trends in runways from Canada to Argentina. It is true that Óscar de la Renta, dis - ciple of great designers such as Cris - tóbal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo, has been the precursor and responsible for the internationaliza - tion of creole talent beyond geogra - phical borders. He is an icon whose overwhelming personality made him and Bill Blass, the classics of the New York night. "Elegance is a discipline of life," he claimed when he achieved in - ternational fame in the 60s as one of Jacqueline Kennedy's designers.
International runways exhibited his designs wore by the most prestigious models and the most famous women of the bizz show, who reminded him as "a true gentleman, all kindness and well-mannered", were dressed by him. A legacy of style and good work and an inspiration for de - signers like the Spa - nish Felipe Varela.
In DominicanaModa, the figures corrobo - rate the work that has been done behind the scenes or rather, in the back stage. Throughout its ten editions more than 400 thousand peo - ple have enjoyed the marvelous staging of its runways and colla - teral events, in which they have exclusively paraded the largest international Do - minican top models. "In Dominicana - Moda 90% of models is purely Domi - nican," says Socrates Mckinney. International top models and Domini - cans as the stature of Omahyra Mota or Francisco Peralta have been the models for the ingenious projections of designers.
"DominicanaModa has encoura - ged evolution. Bloggers, designers, stylists... all have grown along with the event". DominicanaModa has turned into a trading platform in this "Domini - can Trade Expo" industry and has had allies such as the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC), the National Council of Export Free Zone (CN - ZFE) and the Dominican Association of Free Zones (ADOZONA) to attract international buyers interested in acquiring Dominican designs.
Leonel Lirio, Giannina Azar, Magaly Tiburcio, Moisés Quesada, Jacqueline Then, Carlos de Moya, Arcadio Díaz, Jusef Sánchez, Yndra Rodríguez and Linandra Javier are some of the most notable ones that are already leaving their trace in the history of Dominican fashion. However, there is much latent talent that has just emerged as Marye de Jesus, Veronica Modesto, Ariel Encarnacion, Carmen Rincon, Laura Sánchez or Rafael Rivero, privileged minds with different concepts and transgressors that are shining thanks to platforms like Dominicana MODA. "DominicanaModa is a solid business platform and represents the country and city brand. But the most important thing is that it brings a tremendous display of creativity, "says Mckinney.
Brands locally made such as Camila, Blue Country, Rayuela have gained their space in the market. In addition, students of the School of Design in Altos de Chavón and the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo demonstrate talent and innovation in their creations. It is a reserve of young people who are eager for scenarios where their work can be seen.
The masculine fashion is represented specifically by the French Macorisian by birth, Jose Jhan, a man that, as great as Versace, loves his colorful designs that showed a sensual man. From Coco Chanel or Dior comes his vision for the formation of haute couture. A man aged forties with more than twenty years in the world of fashion and as stylist for magazines and celebrities, the Macorisian by birth but inhabitant of the capital by heart, has ventured into shoes design. "I always had the vision to design shoes. Since finishing my studies at Altos de Chavon in 1995, I always wanted to have my own platform to see my dream comes true. "
With more than 16 collections displayed in the country and international runways as well, the creator of different annual proposals, DominicanaModa as one of the most important, has spectacularly burst in the local stage with a collection of shoes for, like its attire, the male public. A shoes line named "José Jhan Shoes".
"More and more people have passion for fashion world. I'm just a drop of water. I do not consider myself the best but I have managed to make my passion, my work, my reality, "Jhan categorically stated. The successful Blue Country brand: a symbol of quality and good taste, the designer Arcadio Díaz, the gifted José Durán, are also part of the list of creators, artists and designers who multiply their efforts so that the Dominican Republic has a mark of identity in terms of Fashion. For Oscar de la Renta, fashion was a banner of designs that enhanced femininity with classic style and subtly draped designs, "the qualities that I admire the most in women are security and kindness," he said. For Socrates Mckinney, fashion is an instrument that allows you to create a character every day. "The essential factor for men's fashion, for example, is that the man should have an open mind. The man has felt very self-conscious about fashion. We must recover the old times when men embellished themselves more than women. We have to incorporate those things that make us feel beautiful and desirable because we have been traditionally mutilated to not feel beautiful as if men were excluded from it. "
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