World-renowned Dominican designer Sully Osvaldo Bonnelly Canaán said that Dominican fashion has not achieved the international projection to which it aspires, advocating that the state should help the industry in the Dominican Republic to promote new creative talents.
Interviewed Friday night while being recognized at the second edition of the “Quisqueya es Moda” event, held at the historic Jumel Mansion in Upper Manhattan, Bonelly said that with Oscar de las Renta Dominican fashion obtained worldwide recognition, but this is not the case with new talents.
He indicated that the Dominican state is not supporting the fashion industry as it should be.
“There are many very good talents but that talent needs to be helped with infrastructure, materials and other tools. It is not giving it away, but giving them facilities to bring them into the country and be able to develop clothes and that is what we do not have yet,” he added.
He explained that the Association of Dominican Designers is working very hard to support the Dominican designer who has a small business there.
He assured that he has felt discriminated against in the United States and Europe. “Yes,” he responded to that question.
“But I say that I am Teflon and there are things that I let slip because you can’t really take that to heart or let it affect you because otherwise it destroys your mind,” he said.
Being a globally recognized country brand, Bonnelly expressed that he has worked hard to be a brand.
“And we continue to work hard,” he pointed out.
Bonnelly, who began his career with de la Renta, added that he likes to promote young and new talent of which there is no one at New York Fashion Week.
“There are no Dominicans participating in that important event,” the couturier added.
He said that among the obstacles that are preventing the projection of Dominican talent are that fashion is a business and it must be treated as a business.
“Not everyone treats fashion like that, but at the same time it is very hard for Latin American talent to get into the United States, because they put obstacles in the way of that talent being exposed,” Bonnelly said.
“What happens is that I imposed myself by breaking the barriers and with everything and that all the time one has to be on top of that,” said the designer.
“But I always take something that Oscar de la Renta told me in my first interview: he told me Sully never deny where you come from, what not everyone will like, but the one who likes you will really like you,” the designer recalled.
The designer received recognition from the offices of Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Assemblywoman Carmen de la Rosa and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez.