Diaspora

Ocoee fashion designer to release her first Haitian inspired wedding dress – West Orange Times & Windermere Observer

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Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 |
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 |
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 |
An Ocoee fashion designer is continuing to make momentous moves in the fashion world. 
International fashion designer Santia McKoy of S&M Custom Design, who we first told you about here, hosted her first-ever fashion show in September, which we told you about here.
Now, McKoy is continuing to pursue her passions with her newest addition to her high-class fashion lines. 
The Unity Wedding Dress is the first Haitian inspired wedding dress McKoy has ever created.
The two-piece dress catches the eyes with striking red and blue colors to represent the Haitian flag. 
Born and raised in Haiti, McKoy came from humble beginnings. She said the piece is a tribute to her home country where her dream first began.
McKoy said the inspiration for the dress did not only come from where she was born, but also from the significant culture the area possesses. 
"Haiti’s culture to me is unity," McKoy said. "No matter what my country or its people goes through, unity is the root of everything."
The fashion designer explained that it isn’t very often she gets to see her people or her culture involved in weddings and wedding attire. She said she would love to see it more and it was the primary reason of her creating the dress.
McKoy said “L’UNION FAIT LA FORCE” are the very meaningful words on the Haitian flag. These words mean “UNITY MAKES STRENGTH."
"I find these words to be very true and great words the whole world should live by," McKoy said. "As a Haitian fashion designer, wedding dresses became my specialty. I’m always looking for ways to add the culture I love so much in my work. I’ve never seen this done. So I took a chance with it and it turned out the way I wanted it and more."
The Ocoee resident said the dress took her about a week to make. Before beginning the process, she spent two days thinking and creating. Each side of the dress was made with 12-yards of satin fabric. The two-piece style of the dress allows it to transform into a reception dress after the wedding. 
The unique wedding dress has already gone viral on Tik-Tok with over 50,000 views in less than 24 hours. 
The dress will be available for purchase beginning January 2022 on the S&M Custom Design website
McKoy will host her second World Tour Fashion Show on June 18, 2022. The show will feature 70 international models. 
 
 
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Annabelle Sikes is a staff writer at the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She graduated in May 2021 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology.  Her past…
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