Latino Fashion Week began as most successful ventures do, by aiming to fill a void in the market. Back in 2007, co-founder Cesar Rolan had trouble finding a Latino presence in the Chicago fashion industry. Despite much experience in the world of fashion, Cesar Rolan and Arabel Alva Rosales set out to give Latino fashion enthusiasts a platform in Chicago and eventually beyond.

This year’s annual event is titled The Journey, a theme dedicated to reflecting on LFW’s seven years of continued success.

Here are some highlights from the past seven years of LFW.

2007

In less than a month Cesar Rolan and Arabel Rosales organize and launched Latino Fashion Week. Latino Fashion Week establishes itself as the only weeklong event dedicated to emerging Latino fashion talent in the United States.

Humboldt Park, Chicago native and America’s Next Top Model winner, Jaslene Gonzales makes a runway appearance at the closing show.

2008

With only one year under its belt, LFW extends its influence abroad. Former Univision host Tsi-tsi-ki Felix presents International Showcase, a runway show dedicated to talented designers that hail from across Latin America such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.

Amongst the LFW closing night audience is legendary Puerto Rican performer, Rita Moreno.

2009

LFW continues to give support to Latino student designers from across Chicago by hosting a student designer competition. The fashion design students have the opportunity of presenting to seasoned professionals from the industry.

2010

LFW dedicates one day to the Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz, by hosting the Chicago premier of a documentary tribute, “Celia: The Queen”.

Two times Grammy nominated pop sensation Colby O’Donis performs on “Teen Night”

The biggest night of the 2010 LFW takes place at Mercedes-Benz Chicago, and features pieces by nationally acclaimed Latino designer, Lazaro Perez.  Lazaro Perez is one of the industry’s premier bridal designers known for dramatic silhouettes and intricate details.

2011

Latino Fashion Week celebrates its 5th anniversary.

The year’s event opens up with the works of Chicago’s top Latino designers, including Jacqueline Amezcua and Zoe Damacela. Univision’s, Nuestra Belleza’s finalist, Nicole Suarez makes an appearance on the runway.

2012

LFW broadens its horizons and tours to Miami, FL and Dallas, TX.

In Chicago, Macy’s and LFW join forces to honor Carlos Santana with a panel discussion on Santana’s influence on fashion and music, hosted by the editor in chief of Vanidades magazine.

Present

It is obvious that LFW has a great track record and their 7th annual event is sure to not disappoint. Catch Latino Fashion Week The Journey events taking place on October 1 through October 5, 2013 for up and coming designers, established designers, celebrity guests, and more! You can also follow our coverage of LFW @gozamos and on Facebook.

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About the author: Adriana runs Style Latino, a street style blog showcasing fashion forward Latinos exclusively.

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