The Blog

Rolando Santana

Born in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Rolando Santana spent his early childhood watching his mother make beautiful creations for special clients, from a small dressmaking business she ran from their home. He recalls, “At that time, little did I realize, that her sewing room would serve as the inspiration for my love of fashion, and nurture my dream to become a designer.” He also remembers that he could get lost in fabric stores for hours with his mother, absorbing all the colors and textures. As Santana grew, so did his mother’s business. At about the age of 13, he began to spend all his free time in her production factory, honing his skills and learning the art of pattern making, construction and sewing.

In 1991, driven by his desire to become a fashion designer, Santana left home and moved to New York, to pursue his dream. After completing degrees in International Business at Mercy College and Fashion Design at FIT, he landed his first job as an assistant designer at Spenser Jeremy, where his talent was immediately recognized and he was promoted to dress designer.

In 2005, Santana joined Donna Morgan as Creative Director, and in 2006 he was recruited as Vice President of design with Kellwood Company’s Designer Alliance, where he launched the Democracy contemporary dress collection. Within the first season, the Democracy dress collection was being sold in all the major department stores thus turning into a two million dollar line in its first one year.

In 2009, after a successful career designing for well-known dress companies, Santana decided that the time was right to open his own collection.

Currently in his ninth season, Santana has become even more focused on designing with the customer in mind and creating looks with the primary purpose of always making all women feel beautiful in his collection. His attention to feminine detail, elegant draping, and sophisticated and timeless designs have women coming back season after season. For Spring 2013, Santana collaborated with the iconic Manolo Blahnik for two designs of shoes that debuted on the runway for his show during New York Fashion Week. Santana has continued to diversify his collection by including small leather goods, sunglasses and clutches.

Santana was a finalist in the Fashion Group International 2012 Rising Star award in the women’s wear category and has shown his collection internationally several times to date. Santana’s designs have been on the red carpet as well as featured on the pages of WWD, Vanity Fair as well as International Vogue, Glamour and Elle. Santana has also been a guest on CNN, NBC and Fox discussing various fashion topics. Rolando Santana’s designs can currently be purchased at over 100 of the top specialty boutiques around the country including Houston’s own Elizabeth Anthony/Esther Wolf.

www.rolandosantana.com

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