Fashion from Emilio Sosa at the Project Runway Season 7 finale show 2/12/10. (Stephen Chernin/AP Images via Newscom)

In 2010, as a finalist on Project Runway Season 7, Emilio Sosa ( was known for his bold use of color. With his upcoming spring 2013 collection, the Dominican-born designer explores his roots. Though he’s lived in the Bronx (“the Boogie Down” as he calls it) since he was a six-year-old Sosa says he was inspired by the Santo Domingo of the 30’s and 40’s, back when it was a play land for the jet-set and international playboys like Rubirosa. CFL spoke to him about his life and work.

Immigration Inspiration
My love for the color blue comes from Pan Am blue because that was the airline we flew when we moved from Santo Domingo. It was the first time I remembered a color. The seats were blue. The walls were blue. I just remember that color everywhere on the plane.

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What You Can Take from Mami and Papi
If you’re blue collar—doing factory work, maintenance work, like my parents did—when you have the opportunity to dress outside of your uniform, which my dad had to wear, I think you take extra pride in how you look and that trickled down. My dad wore hats. Now I find myself wearing a hat. My dad always had a handkerchief in his pocket and now I always have a handkerchief. Read the full article on Cosmo for Latinas.