HAP­PEN­ING BY DE­SIGN

Spot­light­ing South­west Florida’s lo­cal fash­ion­istas, what they’re say­ing

RSWLiving - - Departments - BY RENEÉ NOVELLE

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

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.”

HE­LEN GERRO

PUNTA GORDA

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