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Fernando Pena was born in Spain, where his father was a Cuban diplomat. Pena credited his artistic and elegant mother for the fashion-designer direction he took in life. He was particularly motivated to pursue that career after his mother took him, at the age of seven, to a Coco Chanel fashion show in Paris.

During the 1930s Pena worked for Cristobal Balenciaga in Madrid, where he learned the intricacies of haute couture. Pena then moved to Cuba and enrolled in the National Art Schools, after which he partnered with Roberto Paris and launched his own workshop in Havana. His exclusive designs were sold to the foremost Cuban department stores in business at that time.

In 1960 Castro’s revolution drove Pena and partner Roberto Paris to Puerto Rico, where a 1965 article in a San Juan newspaper referred to Pena as the “undisputed king of local fashion.” San Juan enthusiastically embraced the feminine, uncluttered, and elegant evening gowns, cocktail dresses, and daytime wear which were designed in a classical style for the sophisticated lady. Pena said the Latin American woman “…is the most beautiful woman in the world and very elegant” and it was that woman at the core of his fashion vision. As there was a dearth of couture, quality fashions in his new location, Pena opened several very successful boutiques in San Juan, where his designs were in demand and where he was discovered by Saks Fifth Avenue.

In 1986 Pena moved to Miami, while still maintaining boutiques in San Juan. Three years later the internationally known Hispanic Designers organization awarded Fernando Pena their significant Moda award for his designs.

Health problems eventually overwhelmed Pena, however, and he died in Miami in December 1992. Roberto Paris was then recorded as the president of Fernando Pena of Miami, Inc. and in 2002 Paris was listed as the owner of a number of Fernando Pena trademarks (FB Fernando Pena, Fernando by Fernando Pena, FP, Fernando Pena, and Fernando P). By at least 2017 designer Roberto Paris was apparently still at the helm of the Fernando Pena operation.

Written by LKRanieri

from a 1980s party dress  - Courtesy of morningglorious

from a 1980s party dress

Courtesy of morningglorious