Latino Fashion Week Designer Highlights

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsLatino Fashion Week is less than a week away. And like you, we are just as excited to see the talented work of this year’s list of designers. In order to keep track of the day to day of events, we’ve compiled a list of designers not to be missed. To view a complete schedule of events, visit us on Facebook or

Claudia Arce

Born in the city of Rosario, Argentina, Caudia Arce later moved to Buenos Aires, where she spent her adolescence in the cities of Berisso and La Plata. She had a passion for fashion since she was very young, watching her mother dedicate herself to her high fashion designs. At the young age of nine, Arce would design and make clothes for her dolls. When she finished her studies, she moved back to Buenos Aires to perfect her knowledge of fashion. Over the years, Arce has worked with Roberto Cavalli and Valentino in New York, Paris, and Milan. She has attracted the attention of international personalities like Ana Kournikova, Paris Hilton, Salma Hayek, Pati Manterola, Ana Obregon, among other celebrities that acquire her designs.

“Haj” Gueye

Elhadi M. Gueye, known to the fashion world as Haj, is a fourth generation custom designer and tailor providing exclusive custom attire to the very affluent and most discriminating clientele. Born in Senegal, Haj began his career in Europe under the instruction of his father, Barra Fama Gueye, who designed and tailored fine apparel for French and West African aristocracy and uniforms for servicemen during World War II. After several years in New York, Haj moved to Chicago and began his career as an exclusive designer and tailor for the fashion elite. Additionally, Haj has provided wardrobe for television and major movie productions – The Bernie Mac Show and Head of State (featuring comedian Chris Rock) to name a few.

Juan Colon – MoDa

A Puerto Rican designer with 11 years of experience in the fashion industry, Juan Colon graduated of Centro Moda, school designs Lisa Thon. In the year 1999, Colon received the school TOTAL LOOK Award. Colon presented many trade shows and runway shows like the Red Carpet and five presentations in Puerto Rico High Fashion Week, Dias de Moda en Panama in 2006, Alicante Fashion Week in Spain 2007.

Paco Mayorga

With a degree in fashion design, Paco Mayorga graduated from Sistema Denede Fashion College in Mexico City in 1984. At age 27, he was the only designer from Chiapas to present his own collection independently at a November 2009 show in Salomon Gonzalez Blanco Park. In 2010, Paco was the designer for the Mexican soap opera, “Mi Pecado,” where he dressed actress Mayte Perroni. His designs have been showcased in state and national magazines including Kena, Nupcias and the newspaper El Universal among others.

Alicia Estrada, CEO, Founder and Designer

Stop Staring! dresses are original designs inspired by the 1940s and 1950s filmnoir. Inspired by starlets like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelley, Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford, and Marlene Dietrich. Think back to the silver screen era, where the women were so graceful, full of glamour, and ultimately classy. Stop Staring! has been in business for over 12 years, fueling one of today’s hottest fashion trends. Stop Staring! has been worn by some of Hollywood’s top A-list celebrities like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Zooey Deschanel, and Ashley Greene from the “Twilight” movie.

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