HAPPENING BY DESIGN
Spotlighting Southwest Florida’s local fashionistas, what they’re saying
Southwest Florida is bursting with creative individuals― artists, musicians and filmmakers have all contributed variety and color to our sun-drenched area of the world. And recently, our local designers have been making a splash in the fashion industry as well, gaining notoriety and adding dimension to the diverse talent already thriving here.
We caught up with three local designers to find out what they’ve been creating lately, and where local shoppers can find their trends.
Helen Gerro is no stranger to the fashion world. After participating in her first fashion show in the late '70s in Minneapolis, she fell in love with the process of creating clothes and promptly moved to Manhattan, where she worked in the garment district for many years. Her experience would pay off significantly when a buyer from Dayton-Hudson took notice of her gold lamé parka jackets at a trade show in New York. Her trendy pieces were soon featured at Dayton-Hudson, Marshall Field’s (which was later acquired by Macy’s), Nordstrom and hundreds of small boutiques.
Today she’s busy developing her couture collection that has been featured in Vogue Italia, among other publications, as well as a resort-wear line that she hopes to debut this fall. “I’m inspired by women and music and art and traveling,” she says, further explaining, “I want to be comfortable and fun and sexy and feminine all at the same time. It’s kind of what I strive for.”