Guillermo arrived in the United States from Ecuador at the age of 10, and immediately set about making his relatives, Brooklyn neighbors (and at least one doll) look sensational.
While he’ll tell you that if he wasn’t a designer, he’d be a therapist, he will also admit that he never really felt he had a choice in the matter: for him, designing and creating clothes borders on a compulsion – in a good way.
In high school, he opted for sewing class over auto shop, and by age 16, had forged his own apprenticeships at both a bridal salon and tailor, riding the train to Queens for the opportunity to sit, watch, and ask questions.
By the time he applied to New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology with a portfolio including a bustier of his own design, the admissions board found it hard to believe he’d never received any formal training.
Following graduation, Guillermo became a master pattern maker, working for clients which included designers at New York Fashion Week, a bridal apparel company, and private individuals. His uncanny ability to replicate Chanel jackets developed a bit of a cult following, as often happens with that type of thing.
When a formalwear boutique owner offered to buy the pattern of one of his pieces, he told her it wasn’t for sale. So, she hired him to make it, and soon established a couture division of her company under Guillermo’s name.
In 1992, Guillermo Couture was born. Over the last two decades, Guillermo has custom-designed dresses for dozens of brides, created gowns and formalwear for some of New York’s top executives, and crafted prom ensembles for young women seeking a truly one-of-a-kind dress. He’s even made a gown in two days for one very unfortunate Lincoln Center benefit attendee whose luggage got lost at the airport.
To his client relationships, he brings a fierce commitment to making customers look their very best, his honest advice on what designs will make that happen, and an expert understanding of garment design, construction, and the individual properties of fabrics — from silk, wool and cashmere to tulle and antique lace.
And despite the fact that a talented team of craftspeople help create his designs, you’ll still find him at the sewing machine when time allows. Because he really does love to sew; he kind of can’t help himself.