Isabel and Ruben Toledo are stalwarts of art and fashion (and perhaps, as a couple, perfectly embody the collision of those two worlds), but what they’ve come to represent goes beyond that.
As immigrants from Cuba, they are the “American Dream” and have withstood immense changes within their fields over the past few decades, all while living together in New York City. Their longevity–both in their careers and their relationship–is inspiring to say the least. So, it was a pleasure to hear them talk about it all last night at Parsons (where Isabel was once a student), in a discussion with Simon Collins, Dean of the School of Fashion. The discussion was also timed to coincide with the launch of Isabel’s book (for which Ruben did beautiful illustrations). Here are the most interesting bits we gleaned from the convo:
The Artist’s Toolbox, a PBS show where John Jacobsen interviews “America’s best artists,” features Isabel and Ruben Toledo this weekend. The episode offers a revealing look at the couple and how they encourage each other’s art. So set your DVRs–the show airs Sunday on New York’s local PBS affiliate WNET channel 13 at 3 p.m. In advance of the show, we asked the designer about her creative process, designer collaborations, and how she and Ruben maintain such a strong relationship–in love and work.
What do hope that viewers will learn about you and how you work by watching this show?
Creativity is a mysterious thing and as individual as each creator, but I hope the viewer can get a sense of the free form-border jumping terrain that is fashion combined with the high degree of craft involved to achieve the final vision.
At one point in the show you say you don’t really consider yourself an artist and that you’ve never had a job–how do you explain these statements?
In honor of Valentines Day, we present to you, the cutest fashion couples. They’re stylish and they love each other. Aww…
Manhattan’s first Target opens this Sunday in Spanish Harlem (517 E.117th St.) but we got a sneak peak at the Harlem Designer Collections last night when the store opened its doors for a block party in the aisles.
Though there was a significant celebrity turnout for the event–the Seinfelds, Russell Simmons, 30 Rock’s Katrina Bowden and Bethenny Frankel (in amazing post-baby shape) were all there–the party was really meant for the Target employees and the community, hence the block party vibe. Neighborhood restaurants served up soul food and Doug E. Fresh thrilled the crowd with a stellar performance.
But enough of the party. Onto the important stuff: the clothes.
Target’s opening up shop in Harlem, and Isabel and Ruben Toledo have created an affordable swimwear line to celebrate.
The big box retailer–which is also in the midst of launching a Stephen Burrows apparel collection and a Marcus Samuelsson home collection–has released images from each collaboration, all available in the East Harlem store beginning July 25. (Other select stores and Target.com will get them August 1.)
We’ve had a few themes that seem to have organically emerged on the site today: Rock ‘n Roll (grunge included), photography, and now the moustache, thanks to a couple of Hamish references, Ruben Toledo’s work, and this t-shirt we just happened upon over atTopshop. Random? A little. But also fairly culturally on trend. Kitschy? Definitely. Read more →
We’re not big on envy, but we can’t help but feel a touch toward Ruben Toledo. He’s not just married to his high-school sweetheart who happens to be fashion icon Isabel Toledo, he also has talent by the bucketfuls. Ever since his eerie, disproportionate ads for Nordstrom, we’ve been jealous of his creepy, kitschy illustration Read more →
< ? $slide = "http://fashionista.com/2009/07/29/ruben%20toledos%20pride%20and%20prejudice.jpg" ?>
< ? $slide = "http://fashionista.com/2009/07/29/ruben%20toledos%20wuthering%20heights.jpg" ?>
< ? $slide = "http://fashionista.com/2009/07/29/ruben%20toledos%20scarlett%20letter.jpg" ?>