Isabel Toledo

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Isabel Toledo
Isabel Toledo.jpg
Isabel Toledo at the Anne Klein fashion show. Photo by Ed Kavishe, Fashion Wire Press
Born (1961-04-09) April 9, 1961 (age 57)
EducationFashion Institute of Technology
AwardsCooper-Hewitt National Design Award, 2005

Isabel Toledo (born April 9, 1961) is a Cuban-American fashion designer based in New York City.

Personal life[edit]

Isabel Toledo was born in Cuba and moved to West New York, New Jersey. Where she attended high school and met her future husband and collaborator, Ruben Toledo in 1975, whom she married in 1984. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (NY) and Parsons School of Design (NY) where she studied painting, ceramics, and fashion design. An avid seamstress from a young age, Toledo's work reflects not only a distinct design sense but a keen understanding of garment construction and appreciation for the geometric intricacies of pattern shapes.


In 1985, Toledo presented her first collection. In 1998, she stopped presenting biannual collections, instead choosing to create on her own schedule. Toledo was named creative director of Anne Klein in 2006 after more than twenty years of working solely under her own name. Toledo made her debut with Anne Klein at New York Fashion Week in February 2007.[1] Toledo and Anne Klein parted ways later in 2007.


Along with her husband, Ruben Toledo, Isabel was the recipient of the 2005 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for their work in fashion.[2]

Toledo was also the recipient of an Otis Critics' award named for her at the Los Angeles-based Otis College of Art and Design.

On September 3, 2008, Isabel Toledo was presented with the third annual Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion from the Museum at FIT in New York's Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center.[3]

Famous clients[edit]

Michelle Obama first wore a Toledo design on June 18, 2008 for an appearance at a New York City fashion world fund-raiser. Obama had been a fan of her work from buying her clothes in Chicago at Ikram Goldman's store.

Toledo designed a lemongrass yellow wool lace shift dress with matching overcoat which the First Lady selected to wear at the first inauguration of Barack Obama.[4]


  • "Isabel Toledo: Fashion From the Inside Out". The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. June 16 through September 26, 2009.
  • "Isabel and Ruben Toledo: A Marriage of Art and Fashion". Kent State University Museum. March 2000. Archived from the original on 2010-08-17. Traveled to other museums including the Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design 2002), 1999[5]
  • Interpretation: 20th Century Clothing and Illustration, Ohio State University/Ohio Arts Council, 2000
  • Isabel and Ruben Toledo: A Marriage of Art and Fashion, Kent State University Museum, 2000 [1]
  • Spirals & Ellipses: Clothing the Body Three-Dimensionally, Kent State University Museum, 2005 [2]


  1. ^ Horyn, Cathy (September 13, 2007). "Designers in a Time of Many Dresses, Some Terrific". The New York Times. p. B.8. Quote: Ms. Toledo’s tunics and sundresses, by contrast, will probably find fewer customers. They were complex in color and pattern, surprising in their design, and for that reason more interesting.
  2. ^ "Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Announces Winners of the Sixth Annual National Design Awards". Archived from the original on 2013-06-14. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  3. ^ Peden, Lauren David (4 September 2008). "Toledo's FIT Fete". British Vogue. Archived from the original on 22 July 2009.
  4. ^ Betts, Kate (Jan 20, 2009). "Michelle Obama's Dress: A Bold Choice in Designer Isabel Toledo". TIME.
  5. ^ "The Otis College of Art and Design - Brief Article". Art in America. Jan 2002. Archived from the original on 2009-02-03.

External links[edit]