The fashion world is grieving the death of Isabel Toledo, the fashion designer that create the inaugural dress for Michelle Obama dies at 59 of breast cancer .
Isabel famously designed former First Lady Michelle Obama’s lemongrass yellow sheath dress and matching overcoat for Barack Obama’s 2009 presidential inauguration. Isabel called the historic fashion moment “an amazing honor” in 2013 (via ABC News)
The designer left the university in 1979 before graduation to intern for Diana Vreeland at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Fashion is every woman’s language, every woman’s tool,” she told Interview magazine in 2014. “My ideal happens to be diversity. I love difference. I love change. I love experimentation and eccentricities.” Isabel attended New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, before transferring to Parsons School of Design.
In 1984 Toledo married artist Ruben Toledo. The pair went on to become collaborators.
One year later, Toledo presented her first collection, gaining the support of Fiorucci and Bergdorf Goodman, Vogue reported
Throughout the course of her career, Toledo continued to create her own path. Unlike many designers, Toledo strayed away from runways and presented her collections in museums, according to the AP.
Isabel Toledo attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (NY) and Parsons School of Design (NY) where she studied painting, ceramics, and fashion design. Toledo was an avid seamstress from a young age.
Toledo died from breast cancer at a hospital in Manhattan on August 26, 2019
“I’m really a forever kind of gal,” Toledo told Vogue in 2005, when she was a CVFF finalist. “If everybody’s going this way, I’m going to figure out how to go that way.”
RIP Isabel Toledo.