One of the most exciting fashion designers in the United States, Cuban-born Isabel Toledo has been honored with a National Design Award from the Cooper- Hewitt Museum and a Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion, given by The Museum at FIT. Yet her name and work are recognized only by fashion insiders. This ravishing book brings Toledo’s creations to a wider audience, places them within the context of contemporary fashion, and examines her creative process. Interviewing Toledo, her husband (fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo), and other colleagues, clients, and critics, Valerie Steele gives an account of Toledo’s career and explains that while she has been heralded by leading fashion magazines and featured in stores in New York and Europe, she has not had the long-term financial backing to break out of the niche market. Patricia Mears investigates the artistic and cultural influences on Toledo’s work and analyzes her unusual methods of construction, noting that she designs in three dimensions in her mind and then begins working directly with fabric. Displaying garments Toledo has created since her first show in 1985, this book is a revelatory exploration of a fashion innovator in a mass-market industry.