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Accomplished fashion designer to show at Celebration of Art

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By Jesef Williams

Luis Machicao says he's grateful for every opportunity he gets to show his latest fashion designs and is even more thrilled that an upcoming event will benefit a good cause.

Machicao, a fashion designer from Peru, is one of several artists who will take part in the third-annual World AIDS Day: Celebration of Art, which will be held Saturday at Bob Doster's Backstreet Studio on Gay Street.

The event, which will run from 7 to 10 p.m., will feature live musical performances, visual art displays, culinary arts by local chefs, wine sampling and an arts sale. Proceeds will benefit the Catawba Care Coalition, the HIV/AIDS organization serving Lancaster, Chester and York counties.

An accomplished designer

Machicao, who's been in the fashion industry more than 20 years, has made clothing for the former Peruvian presidential family and has designed wears that have appeared in fashion shows across the world.

He's done custom designs for the casts of more than 20 TV shows in Peru and designed the dress that Miss Peru wore in the 1997 Miss Universe contest. Design work for operas and other theatrical productions was a mainstay for Machicao.

In 2000, he was named Best Fashion Designer in South America.

"I guess I'm lucky. Nobody expected me to be a fashion designer," said Machicao, who comes from a family of politicians.

He says he was looking for something different to do and fell in love with the idea of fashion design while in college.

In 1998, he moved from South American to Houston, where he opened a fashion studio called Aimee-zing Faces.

After a vacation to the Carolinas, he fell in love with this area and moved to Rock Hill in 2001.

When he came, he opened Metropolitan Marble and Granite in Rock Hill, a company that makes marble, granite and soapstone counter tops.

He's worked as the chief designer for a past Miss North Carolina Latina pageant and is also president of Arts United in Charlotte, a group that promotes international arts in this area.

"I want to educate people here about fashion," Machicao said. "There's not much of that over here."

At the Celebration of Art event Saturday, models will display some of Machicao's latest designs, as well as wears in his past collections.

"I'm ready to show some of my designs here and help raise some money," he said. "They invited me to be in this event, and I said yes right away. I hope we'll have a good turnout."

Cherry Doster, director at Bob Doster's Backstreet Studio, says Machicao's designs will complement the evening well.

"He's such a great addition for a great cause," she said. "Everything I've seen is truly a work of art. I know that people are going to regret it if they miss this."

Tickets for the event are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. To reserve a ticket, contact Morgan McEachern at americorps@catawbacare.org or at (803) 909-6363, extension 249.

Contact Jesef Williams

at 283-1152 or

jwilliams@thelancasternews.com