Latino Fashion Designer Willfredo Gerardo’s Cutting Edge Business [Video]

Latino small business fashion designer, Willfredo Gerardo shares his inspiration on becoming a designer.


It’s a bustling January market week in our showroom and talented Latino designer, Willfredo Gerardo is popping in to give us a taste of his favorite looks.

I’m thrilled to see some of his designs in person. They are just breathtaking and two things are very obvious. He absolutely loves what he does and he loves designing specifically with the female form in mind.

With dresses that are curve hugging, sleek and sexy, layered with beautiful sequins and beading, or maybe transparent in strategic areas for pure sex appeal, he truly caters to the bombshell look.

He utilizes double layers of stretch fabric into some of these form fitting dresses to help camouflage any little bumps giving his customer confidence that she looks great from any angle. He uses stiff edging in the trims of some of his dresses that create a wide dramatic sweeping shape at the hem.  

He is well known for his signature style of gowns used for red carpet events, pageants, homecomings, and every kind of head turning special occasion event you can think of.

                           The signature style of Willfredo Gerardo

The signature style of Willfredo Gerardo

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Willfredo is of Cuban/Mexican descent. His interest in fashion began with his mother who was a patternmaker.

By carefully watching her at work creating patterns for her freelance job in their garage, he was inspired by her ability to transform patterns into beautiful garments. Willfredo says it was magical and he immediately was in love with design. He learned his skills from his mother and began to do his own patternmaking and draping.

He worked for several companies before taking the next steps of starting his own small business.

Today he can look back and laugh when he shares some very honest stories about how difficult it was in the beginning when he moved to New York to work in the fashion industry.

He recalls a story of getting to the city and starting to work at the beginning of a week but realizing he wouldn’t get paid until the end of the week and with not enough money for an apartment let alone a hotel room, he waited out the week sleeping out on a street bench and in the mornings, running into any small business that had a restroom to clean up for work until he could get his Friday paycheck.

Latino small business fashion designer, Willfredo Gerardo shares his inspiration on becoming a designer.

He also tells me that at the time when he finally decided to invest in a showroom for his start up business, it was basically a decision of either renting an apartment or a showroom; you can guess that the showroom won out.

He would double purpose its use as his place to live until he could afford having both. He likes to share these stories to let people know that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. There will always be some sacrifices, but for Willfredo, they are absolutely worth it.   

Next page- Requested by royalty, celebrities and everyday women, Gerardo’s designs are headturning.

Tina Trevino
Tina Trevino
Tina Trevino, Partner & Director of Community Relations for Latin Biz Today is President & CEO of Tocaya Design under which she does design consulting for major apparel companies as well as designs, manufactures and markets her women’s lifestyle brand, Tocaya. With 25 years of industry experience most recently as Design Director of KBL Group Intl. Ltd., she has managed large creative design teams. Trevino provides insight on upcoming fashion trends for each season collaborating with designers, merchants and product development teams to help develop brand appropriate apparel. She specializes in sweaters, knits and wovens. Having previously worked with private label brands for stores like Kohl’s, NY & Co, White House|Black Market, and Ann Taylor to name a few as well as brands like Lee jeans, Wendy Williams, Brooke Shields Timeless, Torn by Ronny Kobo, and Whitney Port, she has the ability to build brands from the design and merchandising process all the way through fitting, production, and marketing.

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