During El Museo del Barrio’s 15th annual gala at the 42nd Street Cipriani on Thursday, May 22, tiaras were distributed on trays, in keeping with the Latin American tradition of the quinceañera (kinda like a sweet 16 but a year earlier and more formal). Miss Teen USA Hilary Cruz and Miss USA Crystle Stewart arrived wearing their own recently bestowed crowns. Cute, ladies!
The event was co-chaired by husband-and-wife collaborators Ruben Toledo, the artist, and fashion designer Isabel Toledo, until recently charged with the makeover of label Anne Klein. Both are of Cuban descent, but met when they were just 13 in West New York, New Jersey. “She has a theory that if you marry early, it actually works out well because you sort of change together,” said Mr. Toledo, who has a faint pencil moustache that makes him look a bit like Gomez Addams in The Addams Family.
Though traditional quinceañera wear is white, designer Nicole Miller arrived in a feather-accented black gown with artist Romero Britto, who was wearing a white blazer festooned with splashy giant red and black kisses. “We met in Miami through Absolut Vodka!” Ms. Miller told the Transom. “Years ago, I designed a tie for Absolut and Romero designed a dress, so we met at an event for that.” Carmen Unanue, of the Unanue family that owns Goya Foods, was also clad in negro. “Very elegant,” she said. “And very New York.”