Isabel Toledo was born in Cuba and moved to New Jersey where she attended high school and met her future husband and collaborator, Ruben Toledo. 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.
They describe their work life as entirely entwined with their “real life”, creating being as essential as breathing. Their personal and professional relationship is an anomaly, and not just in the fast-paced world of high fashion, with its ever-shifting alliances. The fashionable couple met at age 13, when they were classmates at a New Jersey high school, both of their families having fled Cuba for the United States, and have been creative and romantic partners for the last three decades. Sharing a loft that serves as home and atelier, the Toledo’s passion for one another and their work is obvious, and they collaborate on everything, serving as muse and inspiration for each other.
Toledo designed a lemongrass yellow wool lace shift dress with matching overcoat which First Lady Michelle Obama selected to wear at the inauguration of her husband, President Barack Obama.Michelle Obama first wore a Toledo design on Wednesday, June 18, 2008 for an appearance at a New York City fashion world fund-raiser.
ON THE LEFT – Fashion from then inside out. FIT museum .
ON THE RIGHT- In honor of the New York City Opera’s benefit, DIVAS Shop for Opera.
These two fantastically vampy illustrations by power couple Isabel and Ruben Toledo.
The hot-pink, fan-flapping design is inspired by Carmen from Bizet’s Carmen, and the Viking in the serious “It” helmet is their take on Brunhilde from Richard Wagner’s The Ring Cycle.