This afternoon will mark a significant milestone for a designer that has received a second chance at making a name for her label. Isabel Toledo was on the verge of becoming obsolete in a fashion market defined by younger and edgier designs. But the designer, who has headed up her namesake label since 1985 as well as designed for bigger houses like Anne Klein, received a monumental boost last year when she was picked to design several ensembles for Michelle Obama, the soon-to-be First Lady and glam icon. The honor itself was notable but the feedback that resulted from the lemongrass silk and tulle ensemble that Obama chose for the Presidential Inauguration catapulted Toledo and her designs to pop stardom.
The museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City will be honoring Toledo's contributions to the design and fashion world today with the opening of an exhibit that chronicles the multiple acievements she has made in her career. The exhibit, called “Isabel Toledo: Fashion From the Inside Out” will feature the now famous Inauguration suit along with standout pieces from her own collection throughout the years. Few people know that Toledo also designed the black and white frock that the First Lady wore to meet Queen Elizabeth II for first time and originally, that dress was meant for the Inauguration instead. “It was too cold,” Toledo remembers on that day, “But I knew I had to make [the yellow outfit] warm enough. She is like all women — she wanted to be comfortable.”
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Now backed by one of the most powerful women in the world, Toledo has a renewed spirit to create her classic and beautiful pieces—and many people have taken notice. “Yes, there’s been a change,” she acknowledges of buyer interest in her company. “I’m just so proud to have been a part of that moment, and it’s changed my life on a spiritual level,” she says, “so you’ll see what affect that has on my clothes [next season].”
Article and Photo Source: WWD