Lopez Lens: Lourdes Fernandez-Velasco

Philanthropist and style leader MARILE LOPEZ talks to the director of Miami Fashion Week.

Lourdes Fernandez-Velasco with models and designers at Miami Fashion Week.

Glamour. Style. Vision. And couture. They are all synonymous with Miami Fashion Week, but there is so much more than Lights-Camera-Catwalk.  Lourdes Fernandez-Velasco, the Executive Managing Director of MFW —  six days of runway shows taking place throughout the city at venues such as Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Seaspice — has fashionably revolutionized Miami with the first global fashion week in Florida. Not only by creating its own content but also by generating a space to discuss sustainability and pioneering fashion into the Metaverse. 

Lourdes Fernandez-Velasco

Through Miami Fashion Week, Miami has been established as the fifth city in the world to be part of the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s “Important Dates Calendar,” joining London, Milan, New York, and Paris. In fact, Miami is the first city to join the top four and enter this Calendar in over 65 years.   

“The city deserves a prominent fashion event to showcase both local and international talent, given its status as one of the most vibrant cities globally,” says Fernandez-Velasco. “My hopes are to have Miami Fashion Week serve as a platform for nurturing and promoting emerging talent from the region.”    

Miami Fashion Week actively supports and collaborate with major educational institutions in Miami-Dade County, including DASH, Miami Fashion Institute, Art Institute, Saint Thomas University, FIU, UM, and Istituto Marangoni. It initiated the Miami Fashion Week Sustainability Summit in 2017, in partnership with Miami Dade College and Knight Foundation.  It is the first fashion week to voice sustainability in the industry, and throughout the years, has brought together experts, professionals, buyers, and students from all over the globe for Sustainable Fashion Talks.  MIAFW focuses on technological, socioeconomic, environmental, innovative, and ethical challenges.  Through Fernandez-Velasco’s leadership, Miami Fashion Week has gained recognition from media outlets including Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, New York Times, among others.  

“We share a commitment to sustainability,” says Fernandez-Velasco, “with MIAFW hosting the inaugural Sustainable Fashion Summit in the country we provide a platform for Innovation by promoting diversity and by offering opportunities to both emerging local and international designers.”  

Complementing the runway shows, are a series of informative panels that cover pertinent topics such as sustainability, technology’s role in fashion, entrepreneurship, and diversity. These panels are co-hosted by Fashion Group International and conducted at several Miami hotels. Mrs. Fernandez-Velasco has created a collaboration with several esteemed educational institutions in Miami-Dade County, including Miami-Dade College, Istituto Marangoni, Saint Thomas University and DASH, to participate in these enlightening discussions. 

Fernandez-Velasco, meanwhile, was born in Asturias, northern Spain and was raised between Long Island, New York, and Spain. She studied International Business Administration abroad in both Paris and New York, where she started her career at The New York Times.  Driven by her passion to create an ecosystem in Miami, and South Florida, she is determined to keep growing the platform to promote Miami’s growing talent and to also attract designers and artists from all over the globe. 



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