When it comes to sophisticated, feminine and sexy designs, Robert Rodriquez has got it in the bag. Born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Miami, Florida the fashion designer moved to New York to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. There, he graduated with honors and awards, which led him to an apprenticeship at Christian Dior. We chat up the celebrated designer who will be at Neiman Marcus Coral Gables on Thursday, September 27 on his fame and affinity for the Magic City.
When did you have that aha! moment you realized you wanted to be a designer? As a child I was drawn to everything that was artistic and had a passion and love for the arts. I would have to say that it was my mother who inspired me in every way. When I was 15, she gave me a book about Christian Dior that inspired me to want to become a designer.
Who is your design hero and why? Alexander McQueen is my hero. He is the designer that I most admire for his work and talent. He was a designer that looked at the future and never at the past, and was an absolute genius.
You co-founded your namesake label in ’03, describe that leap of faith. In 2003 my partner Nicola Guarna and I decided to launch my first collection for Fall 2003. It was indescribable — the tremendous excitement we both felt. We never imagined the success of the brand that it is today.
If you weren’t a clothing designer, what would be plan B? An architect. I love architecture and design.
What do you love most about Miami? I love the people and the culture in Miami. I am Cuban born and Miami is where my roots are. The architecture, foods, the arts, and beaches were always a huge part of my childhood.
Fragrance: Bulgari Green Tea
Book: Curious George
Travel spot: Europe