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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

David Antonio: Unstoppable force in fashion

By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The Star

David Antonio has been inspiring local men and women with his unique brand of glamour and style for 40 years. Since 1983 the Puerto Rican fashion designer has been serving up designs that are bold, sexy, creative, and more than anything wearable. The latter, ladies and gentlemen, is the clue to his booming business and the cornerstone to four successful decades in the cut-throat fashion industry. And also, probably the top feature fashion connoisseurs look for when shopping for an unforgettable look: Make it wearable. David Antonio designs fabulous silhouettes that women can walk flawlessly in and be comfortable in, dresses that showcase the woman, not the other way around.

“I don’t go crazy with trends or editorial looks, I design with my clients in mind,” he said. “When I grab my sketch pad, I have a plan, I focus on silhouettes and colors that women want to wear.”

A benefit for Hogar Cuna San Cristobal, the anniversary event brought fashionistas from all walks of life to the Condado Vanderbilt Ballroom, a space that proved tight for the huge crowd that gathered at the elegant hotel Thursday night. At the cocktail party, Hogar Cuna San Cristobal launched the publication “Amigas del Hogar,” a magazine that honors the legacy of the non-profit organization, founded 31 years ago. The book also pays tribute to 40 local women who have trusted David Antonio for decades with their style, special occasion dresses and wardrobe. Among the women in the book, Zulma Licha, Daniela Dapena, Francina Bonnelly, Rita Campos, Cuchy Recio, Gabriela Ballester, Nilda Ortiz, Ana Maria Rivera, Ednita Colón, Maypi Rodriguez, Melissa Delgado, Tensy Llavat, Conchita Lopez Ballori, Rossina Pacheco, Alia Gonsalves and Milagros Arrieta.

“As I look back, it’s inevitable to remember so many beautiful memories, so many selfless people who have helped me every step of the way…you don’t get far in this world without a support system,” he said. “It has truly been a journey of love, I could have never dreamed my love for design would allow me to establish a solid business and touch so many lives. I feel blessed every day of my life. God is everything.”

The Anniversary Collection is full of color, sequins, plumes, lace and that unbeatable latin flair we all love to love. Classic silhouettes with fun unexpected twists, body hugging bodices, see through princess skirts, mermaidcore, thigh-high splits, ruffles, embroidered embellishments and fringes. Each gown was unique, different, memorable. David Antonio is a master at statement dressing. He selected luminescent fabrics, textiles that sparkle, polka dots, stripes, winter florals and animal prints. Every look is a celebration, everything worked. He also presented ready-to-wear sexy dresses, shorts, suits, kaftans, jumpsuits and denim on denim. The color palette includes cerulean blue, bright fuchsia, orange, purple, yellow, red, indigo and white. The Holiday Collection is sophisticated, polished, and ultra femme. It comprises 80 looks, which will be presented in New York later this month as part of the New York Fashion Week 2024 Series.

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