Three months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, only 65 percent of electricity generation has been restored. But the local fashion industry is keeping their lights on by hosting the ninth edition of San Juan Moda, a four day event running from Dec. 19 to Dec. 22 at the Old San Juan Casino. Local veteran designers, such as Luis Antonio, Lisa Thon, and Miriam Budet will show this week, alongside Dominican designers José Jhan and Gianinna Azar, who will present a show on Dec. 22.
This year’s fashion show will also benefit the victims of Hurricane Maria with a fund sponsored by first lady Beatriz Rosselló, actress Karla Monroig, tennis Olympian Monica Puig, ex-Miss Universe Denise Quiñones, and singer Ambar. Each has a specific project they’ll be sponsoring. Monica Puig will sponsor the building of a tennis court in Cataño, Puerto Rico and Karla Monroig a drive to deliver children’s toys to Guayama, Puerto Rico. The first lady of Puerto Rico will sponsor a benefit to help the University Pediatric Hospital, which is in need of incubators for newborns.
Puerto Rico’s local fashion industry has been hit severely by the island’s economic crisis. San Juan Moda is one of the initiatives created to help boost local talent, as well as clothing manufacturing and textiles industries on the island, which are mainly based in the metro area.
Puerto Rico is renowned for its fashion worldwide thanks to designers such as Carlos Alberto, who dressed former-Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera on her coronation night, and Stella Nolasco, who has shown at New York Fashion Week and dresses celebrities like America Ferrera, Dayanara Torres, and Eva Longoria. The island also has several fashion design programs at the Turabo University in Caguas, EDP College in San Juan, School of Visual Arts and Design in Old San Juan, and the Centro Moda Lisa Thon in Rio Piedras.