Name: Romina Heighes
Age: 26
Hometown: Lima
Occupation: Fashion designer

DESIGN DIRECTION
Heighes, who has lived in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, notes a number of inspirational references in her work, from travel and culture to art and architecture. But at the core of it all, her mission is clear: “I want to make versatile pieces for sophisticated women on the go.” The results? Minidresses, billowy tops, structured jackets and leg-baring skirts in classically streamlined silhouettes made mostly with silk, “because it’s more elegant.”

ACCOLADES
“When I won Emerging Designer of the Year [at Miami International Fashion Week in 2009], I finally decided to build my own brand,” says Heighes, who graduated from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology in 2008 and has completed internships at some of the most venerable design houses in the business, including Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and Carolina Herrera.

UP NEXT
Though she focuses on making clothes that are unfussy, Heighes by no means neglects the details. Her Fall 2010 collection is a treasure trove of visual points of interest, from pleating and screened watercolor prints (à la Monet) to floral embroidery—Heighes’ expertise. “With embroidery, it’s not just another blouse or dress,” she explains. “It pushes the piece over the edge.”

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