ABOUT LESLY BLANDÓN
The minute he noticed the elegance his mother exuded with just a simple black pencil skirt, crisp white cotton shirt and a bright teal necklace, seven-year old Lesly Blandón knew his life had to be in fashion. To satiate his thirst for style, young Lesly would steal his mother’s Hola magazines, which showcased the couture of Spain’s rich and famous, and imagine himself in that world. Born in Nicaragua and raised in Miami, Lesly overlooked the beaches that surrounded him and longed to be in another world, among the fashion-forward people he stared at in the magazines.
As he grew up in the early nineties, he was inspired by the elaborate and the simple alike—from the over-the-top designs of Gianni Versace to the sleek lines of Halston and Calvin Klein. To emulate his favorite designers, he enrolled in Miami’s International Fine Arts College where he studied fashion design and received the Fashion Design Award for Fashion Creativity in the year 2000. In 2001, he landed his first job in the industry as a Pattern Maker Assistant at Tail, a women’s golf and tennis wear company.
After mastering the art and science of creating patterns, managing sample rooms and fitting garments, he moved on to the contemporary clothing company Petit Pois in 2003, where he was charged with visiting trade shows across the country to sell the line. Under the guidance of designer Viviana Gabeiras, Lesly learned all the steps that needed to be taken when designing a full collection, from choosing the fabric for a piece to hanging it in a store.
In 2005, it was on to working with Peruvian-Chinese designer Julian Chang, a fellow Miamian who also had a fondness for clean lines. Under Chang, Lesly not only designed pieces for the line, he also managed all aspects of the production and sample-making process, learned to make custom pieces and work with fabrics like silk, chiffon and organza.
Although the Miami’s fashion scene was burgeoning, in 2007, he could no longer ignore the call from the fashion Mecca of the world. He moved to New York and quickly landed a job at Saks Fifth Avenue as a fashion consultant. The experience immersed Lesly in the works of the world’s top designers on a daily basis and gave him first-hand contact with his audience—fashion-forward working women. He counseled and coached them as they pranced about the floors at Saks with the designs he selected for them, and in turn, they taught him what women wanted, needed, and expected of their clothes.
Armed with that knowledge and the backing of his partner Marlon Lasa, in 2011 Lesly decided to fly on his own and create BLANDÓN—a line of simple, strong and elegant designs born in Manhattan and inspired by the women that walk its streets.