August 21 2014

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Toledo’s New Tome


Last night, a host of industry veterans, including Steven Kolb, Fern Mallis, and Paper‘s Mickey Boardman, gathered at the W Times Square to congratulate Isabel Toledo on her new tome, Roots of Style: Weaving Together Life, Love, and Fashion. “I wanted to inspire young designers to do things their way and hold onto their own voice,” the Cuban-American designer told of the book (featuring illustrations by her husband, Ruben), which is part memoir and part manual to the world of fashion. “These days you need renegades in fashion; otherwise there’s no spark.”

Paper‘s Kim Hastreiter recalled her first encounter with the couple in 1984. (“l met Ruben when he was a sales boy at Parachute in New York.”) According to Hastreiter, “Isabel and Ruben work together in creating fashion; she comes up with the ideas and he draws them—they’re like one person.” Adding, “Isabel is an outsider. Even though she’s not on the cover of Vogue every month, she’s the one that’s going to be in history books.”

Still, Mr. Toledo admitted to not always being the ultimate confident spouse. “The first show was terrifying,” he revealed. “I wanted to cancel three seconds before but Isabel said, ‘No, let’s go for it.’ “Ever the artiste, he played host by sketching impromptu caricatures into lucky guests’ book dust jackets, causing Hastreiter to cry out, “You’re like one of those portrait guys in Central Park!” To which Toledo quipped, “That’s where I got my training.”

Photo: Dean Neville/

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