Fernando Wong is, without a doubt, a fashion sensation. His chic and wearable evening-wear in demand both in the United States and abroad, coveted by such songstresses as Toni Braxton, Janet Jackson and Destiny’s child. Wong has a style that one part ostentation, two part class, and his designs are strongly influenced by the women who wear them.
A lab technician turned fashion designer, Wong was born in Cuba and arrived in the United States at the age of 14, when he first came in contact with couture world. “I had a lot of catching up to do,” he admits. ” I had to learn how to swim, bike ride and do other things I have never been exposed to.” Wong continues, “Fashion became a way of expressing myself when I had a problem with confidence.”
Wong’s early training as a tailor inspired his work. he began designing clothes in 1988 with an evening-wear collection. Because he was not certain about the line he wanted to pursue, he took some time off to research the market and to find direction in his life. ” After looking at sportswear and a lot of other things, ” Wong says, “I decided to stay with evening-wear.” Asked if he remembers his first project, Wong is taken aback, “Oh God yes. It was a costume party a group of ladies were having for the Cancer Society. There were twelve different bodies who wanted to be dressed as witches.” Unable to hold back his laughter, he continues, ” And they all wanted to look glamorous! It was fantastic.”
For Wong, making a statement is what the fashion world is all about. “My clothes are designed to show a lot of legs, open backs and low necklines,” he says. “It is important to have a classy mode even when you’re trying to look sexy.” Wong also believes that the fit of his clothes is what distinguishes his style from that of others couture designers. “My designs are made so they fit tight on the waist but a little bigger on the hips, to allow the natural women to wear them.”
Asked whom he would most like to dress given the opportunity, Wong replies without hesitation, “Angelina Jolie, because is so sensual.”
Shy and imaginative, Wong discusses his personal goals. While moving to New York city, the fashion capital of the world, had been his priority for a long time, he has decided to stay at Miami. “I had putt off buying a car for several years because it meant Miami would become my permanent residence, “but having traveled back and forth on several occasions, Wong concludes, “I realized that although the people are more creative in New York, the opportunities are greater here in Miami.” For now, Wong simply wants to be happy.