Local wedding dress designer Manuel Tiscareño showing his first ready-to-wear collection at New York Fashion Week

When he was studying art history in school, bridal-wear designer Manuel Tiscareño, 29, never thought he would be creating gowns for brides. He actually started out of necessity.
Tiscareño’s parents started a bridal-wear business in Mexico more than three decades ago, he said.

“I grew up around wedding dresses,” he said. “Long story short … one of the providers wasn’t really giving us the best price, so I started designing wedding dresses.”

After positive feedback from clients, he was invited to small events to showcase his work.

“It just took off,” he said.

Más vida: Local bridal-wear designer jumps into the world of ready-to-wear designs

Last year, a Tiscareño Bridal Couture dress was featured in Harper’s Bazaar en Español’s April bridal edition and he showed a collection at the International Dubai Fashion Week last October.

And on Feb. 12, a ready-to-wear collection will premiere at New York Fashion Week through Fashion Designers of Latin America. This will mark the brand’s first foray into off-the-rack styles.

A FEW WEEKS OUT

“People don’t really care about dresses anymore. You can buy a dress anywhere,” Tiscareño said. “People are really buying ideas, concepts and all those things.”

For the NYFW show, Tiscareño said he was inspired by “the modern woman” who is multifaceted and isn’t restricted to either professionalism or glamour.

“I think the biggest obstacle as a designer is to be constant because you can have one success but people forget very easily,” he said. “You have to stay fresh. You have to stay relevant.

“That’s hard. It’s not easy staying in people’s minds.”

Tiscareño doesn’t do it alone. He’s quick to praise his “massive team” of makers and creatives for his success.

“I think it’s all teamwork,” he said. “I can’t take all the credit for everything we’ve been doing.”

And Tiscareño knows he’s going to need his team to come through as only two dresses are complete (as of Thursday). A third of the work for the NYFW collection is happening in the Valley, a third in Michoacán, Mexico and a third in Reynosa, Mexico.

Also, the pieces were designed with a team from Russia, New York, Mexico City and Tijuana, he said.

“It’s a collection that really crosses borders because a lot of the work is done in Mexico, the embroidery is done in India, some fabrics are sourced in Asia,” he said.

Tiscareño said he isn’t worried, and expressed confidence in his team. Trusting and relying on others has been crucial to growing from a gown designer to a brand, he said.

“It’s about letting it grow beyond yourself, because if the designer just wants to stay in the studio just sewing all day, I don’t think you’ll get very far,” he said.

One of Tiscareño’s goals is to grow his brand past just wedding dresses and compete commercially.

“If other brands can do it, why do I have limit myself to just being a bridal-wear designer?” he asked.

Tiscareño said he’s especially excited for their first handbag, which is also inspired by the duality of the modern woman — clean and black, designed to resemble a briefcase, but still possess practicality.

It boasts his logo and a small “T.”

“I really want to commercialize my brand because why not?,” he said. “I think I’ll go until the market tells me it doesn’t want it anymore.”