FDLA Celebrates 10 Years of Promoting Latin American Fashion Designers … from NYFW to the World
We had a chance to sit down with Albania Rosario (@AlbaniaRosarioOfficial), Founder and Creative Director of FDLA, and here’s what we found out.
Who is Albania Rosario? Her story mirrors that of many who come to New York to pursue a dream of making it in the big city. But for Albania, her dreams and aspirations ran deeper than anyone could imagine. When she arrived in New York from the Dominican Republic, she knew she was destined for something great. She not only succeeded in school and her career, she has left a mark in the Latino community. Her father played a major role in ensuring his daughter worked hard, stayed focused and proved to everyone she would be a force to be reckoned with.
Albania Rosario is the voice, the woman who brought Latin designers to the forefront of New York Fashion Week and is the Executive Director & Founder of Fashion Designers of Latin America (FDLA). FDLA recognizes the remarkable contributions made to Latin American fashion by individuals from every sector of this growing industry. FDLA has paved the way for both established and upcoming designers from around the world to bring their signature fashion to New York City.
Over the past 10 years, FDLA has become one of the most diverse, multicultural platforms for international designers to showcase their talent.
Albania’s determination and ever-so-humble spirit is the reason FDLA is what it is today. This once-timid girl who wasn’t sure what direction her life would take her, is now one of the most influential Latinas in the Latin American fashion industry.
FDLA started with 6 designers in 2009 and now in 2019 there are over 50 designers and counting.
The future looks extremely bright for both Albania and Fashion Designers of Latin America.
2019 marks the 10 year anniversary of FDLA. FWO had the opportunity to sit down with Albania and learn how she broke the barriers and raised awareness … not only in the fashion industry, but in the Hispanic community.
Cheers to a decade of greatness!
Interview with Albania Rosario
Q&A by Teresa Hernandez
Q: When did your career in fashion begin?
It began around 2004 when I started to work as volunteer during fashion week in NYC.
Q: When did FDLA come to life, and what was your vision for the company?
FDLA (formerly known as Uptown Fashion Week) came to life in 2009. Back then I had a vision of building a platform that can provide opportunities to Latino designers to be able to be part of the fashion circuit in NYC and show their work during NYFW.
I had a vision of helping Latino designers be seen during NYFW
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Q: How many designers from Latin America partake in New York Fashion Week?
As of right now we have worked with over 50 designers from all over Latin America and the world. We have traveled to several countries including Milan, Dubai, South Korea, Switzerland, etc.
Q: In these countries, what takes place? How does the process begin?
My team and I are invited to these international fashion shows/locations to bring the Latino market to life.
We establish a relationship, an alliance with those individuals who host the shows in these countries and I bring the Latin designers to them.
This gives them the opportunity to showcase their talent and present their work in other international shows. Then we come back to where it started, New York, for fashion week.
Q: What was the defining moment when you realized, this is going to be BIG?
I think my vision was always that this is going to be a major platform in the industry because no one has ever done this before.
Each year we bring more and more designers from all over Latin America to showcase their brand during New York Fashion Week.
Q: What does it mean for you to be a Latina in this industry? What does it mean for the Latino community?
To be a Latina in the industry means diversity and opportunity to put their talent on a higher platform. This has opened the doors for the Latino community to be at the forefront and anyone who has keen vision and a desire to make it work.
This has opened the doors for the Latino community
Q: If there is one piece of advice that you can tell an 18 year old Albania Rosario today, what would that be?
I will tell the young Albania that the sooner she starts following her vision and believing in herself the sooner she will be changing people’s lives.
Q: You are coming up on your 10-year anniversary. As you look back over the past 10 years, what has been the most rewarding experience to date?
The most rewarding experience; This platform has given me the ability to be able to not only open new windows of opportunities to the Latin American designers, but also the fact that I can contribute something to change people’s lives.
It is extremely rewarding for me, to help them reach their goals and dreams of showcasing their work to the world and expand their career and business in the industry. This means the world to me.