There was a real Houston connection at New York Fashion Week. As the celebrity fashion designer at the Latinista Collection & Lifestyles fashion extravaganza, Houston native Cesar Galindo presented his fall collection. And his featured model was 17-year Houston model Chloe Kissner, who made her first trip to New York for the big event.
Also showing collections were Colombian fashion designer Sandra Baquero, who featured a retro collection with aviator hats, and Milagros Batista, an emerging designer from the Dominican Republic known for his signature knits.
For his fall collection, Galindo chose a Spanish gypsy theme, highlighting silver, white, red, and black colors and featuring polka dots and lace.
"Half of the collection is light, the other half is a little heavier because it's a transitional period. All of my girls in the South, they want lighter dresses. It's still fall, but it's a light wearability." Galindo said. "A lot of times if it's too heavy, it doesn't make sense when it's 80 degrees outside where I come from."
Unlike some designers who work until the last minute, Galindo said his collection was finished a week earlier. "I have to get ready for showroom clients," he said. "This is frosting on the cake."
While Chloe stood in a sparkly jumpsuit in a red and black animal print designed by Galindo, her mom, Stephanie Kissner, proudly looked on. Stephanie originally met Galindo when she was crowned Miss Houston USA and later Miss Texas USA in 1990 (her name was Stephanie Kuehne), placing in the Top 12 in the national pageant. She and Galindo reconnected after Houston agency owner Page Parkes sent Galindo a photo of Chloe and suggested her as model for his collection.
"I did (Stephanie's) outfit when she was Miss Texas and 30 years later Paige brought her daughter to me and now everybody's picking her up, " Galindo said. "I met her the week I was doing my lookbook and thought it was a perfect fresh face. It's part of what we do — we discover, we put people out there. They're the next stars. I probably won't be able to book her anymore because her career will take off."
"I haven't see him for years," Stephanie said about Galindo. "But I love him. I'm so happy for his success."
Stephanie recalled that she was one of Parkes' first models. "I did this trip with my mom, going to New York, taking pictures and seeing casting directors. It's thrilling to be the mom now and see her experience New York City for the first time," she said.