(Images: Innovation Media LENY Global)
Meet Albania Rosario of Fashion Designers of Latin America
When Albania Rosario came to the United States at 18, she didn’t even speak English. Now she owns and organizes Fashion Designers of Latin America (previously Uptown Fashion Week), bringing Latin American designers to the world stage at New York Fashion Week. In addition to a range of talent from Latin America, the platform has attracted a plethora of talent, including designers such as Michael Costello and Marc Bouwer.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Albania uprooted and moved to the New York City in December of 2000 at 17 years old to pursue her academic career. After studying at CUNY–Hunter College, she decided to follow two passions: fashion and serving the community. “I want fashion to deliver and raise awareness of a message, not just be purses and dresses,” she says.
I want fashion to deliver and raise awareness
Rosario’s background in advertising marketing and communications has helped her cultivate relationships with her local communities, bringing sponsors to her organization like Delta Air Lines, Ford Motor Company, Hispanic Federation, Moët Hennessy USA, and others.
Her entrepreneurial and professional skills landed her a position as the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Washington Heights New York in 2014. To reach out to her uptown New York community, she also taught Event Management at CUNY in the Heights in 2015.
Most currently, Albania Rosario is the CEO of Uptown Management Incorporated, an event planning firm specializing in event production and branding strategies. She is also the founder of Uptown Fashion Week and creative director at Fashion Designers of Latin America fashion platform, that recognizes the outstanding contributions made to Latin America fashion by individuals from all areas of the industry and related arts.
It’s now been 17 years since Rosario came from speaking no English to running a global fashion platform that has helped develop Latin American designers to their fullest potential.
We had the opportunity to speak to Albania to find out what motives her, and what she sees for the future.
Albania Rosario: The Interview
Q: What were some of the challenges in becoming a fashion show producer?
The greatest was building credibility in one of the most competitive industries in the world, especially in New York, where so many incredible shows take place.
Q: What strategies helped — and still help — you achieve the high levels of success you’ve enjoyed?
There are many, but one of the strategies I feel has definitely helped and still helps me to achieve success not only personally, but professionally is to bring diversity and culture to our shows.
Our group is very talented, diverse, and multicultural, which continues to open doors to a bigger and wider audience around the world.
it has definitely helped to bring diversity and culture to our shows
Q: What is the ultimate goal of FDLA?
To create a strong fashion platform around the world that recognizes the outstanding work and contributions made to Latin American fashion by not only established designers, but up-and-coming talent from the industry and related arts.
I have had the chance to bring some of our FDLA designers to international shows in countries like South Korea and Eastern Europe, and we are heading to Dubai this coming October.
Sooner than later we will have Fashion Designers of Latin America everywhere around the world.
we are soon heading to Dubai
Q: What’s the best or most fulfilling aspect of what you do?
The biggest and most rewarding experience for me to see our designers bring their dreams to life.
Most of these designers have always dreamed of having the opportunities to come to New York, the fashion capital of the world, to expand and market their brand outside of their country.
It gives me a lot of joy to say that the possibilities are endless at FDLA.
Most of these designers have always dreamed of coming to New York
Q: What makes FDLA unique?
We use our platform to bring a message, a message about opportunity, about equality. We look for inspiring stories behind each designer. We put our focus on the up-and-coming, in diversity, the multicultural, the arts.
Q: Where do you want to go next? What’s the ultimate dream?
FDLA London, FDLA Paris, FDLA New York, FDLA Milan, FDLA Hong Kong, FDLA Japan, etc. etc.
What to Look for This Season
This season’s Fashion Designers of America will take place September 13 – 15, 2017.
Look for designers including:
Agatha Ruiz de La Prada (Spain)
Angie Polanco (Dominican Republic)
Carlos Sierra (Venezuela)
Carmen Camacho (Bolivia)
Chacabanas Republic brand
Francisco Saez (Spain)
Isabel López (Colombia)
Jorge Diep (Republica Dominicana)
Jose Cristian Lagares (Dominican Republic)
Jose Zafra ( Peru)
Melina Nmili Lalla bee (Dominican Republic)
Miriam Rodriguez (Venezuela)
Nidal Noaihed (Venezuela)
Robert Flores (Dominican Republic)
Rosita Hurtado (Bolivia)
Wendy Luzon (Dominican Republic)
With the support of:
The New York City Council – Ydanis A. Rodriguez
New York State Assembly | Carmen N. De La Rosa
In collaboration with:
Cosmeticos – Xanterîa Cosmêtica