Courtesy of Desmond Hanks, KISS Fashions

Desmond Hanks is making alterations to a blue velvet crop top at his sewing machine.

It’s prom season and his Miami apartment doubles as his workspace

Prom dresses in various stages of finish are everywhere--in the living room, hanging on hallway walls and in bags waiting for pick-up.

Most of his clients are high-school girls, but middle schools and even pre-schools are also throwing proms this time of year.

Women in colorful scarves called hijabs saunter through Orlando’s Fashion Square Mall carrying black shopping bags that read VERONA in white. For many of them, this is no routine trip to the commercial hub just blocks from central Florida’s largest mosque. It is a celebration of the grand opening of a store they have been buying many of their long flowing gowns and hijabs from for months. It is a moment to reflect on what many of the Muslim women say is long overdue: the existence of a store in a mainstream mall that caters to Muslim women and women seeking conservative wear.

Doree Fromberg


This story, as told by Dr.Richard Epstein and Dr. Gil Epstein, is part of an oral history series.

Every mother who wanted to buy her daughter a stunning dress will remember the name Dorissa of Miami.

This is the story of our mother, Doree Fromberg, a girl who won a scholarship to attend the New York Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) after graduating high school, began designing and sewing dresses in her home in Miami and developed the business into an international company.

Shoe Retail Chain Traffic Inc. Files For Bankruptcy

Jan 8, 2016


There's a Traffic shoe store at almost every mall in South Florida. It’s the store with broken columns at the entrance where the inside resembles ancient Greece.

Unfortunately for bargain show lovers, the fate of the store may soon match its motif.

Traffic Incorporated filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week, citing increasing pressure from online shopping.

The Miami-Dade County-based retailer operates 83 stores in malls across nine states and Puerto Rico. It also sells its teen fashion products at

Nadege Green / WLRN

With a series of twists, turns and tucks, Yasmine Abellard transforms a rectangular piece of African fabric into a pompadour-like wrap atop her head.

She pairs the black and white patterned wrap with a simple black dress.

“It makes me feel bold, fearless, fierce,” she said.

Abellard started wearing African-inspired headwraps more than 10 years ago. She said when she would travel to Haiti where she has family, some of the women disapproved of her wraps.

08/13/14 - Wednesday’s Topical Currents is a rebroadcast of a visit with journalist Phoebe Baker Hyde, about her dilemma of a “perfect storm” of self-doubt. She struggled with the notion that as a professional woman, she should be encumbered with the expense and trappings of fashion, makeup, new clothes, salon haircuts and jewelry. Hyde swore off the fantasy of feminine perfection for a year, and has written THE BEAUTY EXPERIMEN

Miami Fashion Week

Peru is the loudest Latin American boom you’ve probably never heard – but should.

These are the kind of macroeconomic data that made the world swoon over Brazil in the 2000s:

Ÿ● Peru’s economy has grown an average of almost 7 percent the past four years. Wall Street expects equally robust growth for the next five years.

Ÿ● Wall Street also ranks Peru No. 2, behind only South Korea, when it comes to resisting external shocks to its economy.

Tom Hudson

Rene Ruiz makes women's dresses. Fancy dresses. In the picture to the right, he is standing with a new spring 2014 design. Ruiz designs and makes them in Hialeah. Ruiz grew up here and as his fashion design business began taking off with merchandise showing up in Neiman Marcus stores, he decided he wanted to stay in South Florida.

The rising costs of commercial real estate throughout Miami-Dade County means fewer choices for would-be independent retailers. See, for instance, the full mall-ification of Lincoln Road, and the sweep of new high-end luxury retail through the Design District. Small-business proprietors are even starting to move out of Wynwood’s main drag; punky street fashion boutique the Kult, to name one, recently closed up shop off NW 2nd Ave.

03/25/13 - Monday’s  Topical Currents is with journalist Phoebe Baker Hyde, about her dilemma of a “perfect storm” of self-doubt.  She struggled with the notion that as a professional woman, she should be encumbered with the expense and trappings of fashion, makeup, new clothes, salon haircuts and jewelry.

07/31/12 - Tuesday's Topical Currents begins with journalist Elizabeth Cline, author of OVERDRESSED: The High Cost of Cheap Fashion.  The days of buying quality clothes at local shops or department stores – even having garments mended – have gone the way of the phonograph. The New York City garment district is mostly history.