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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, May 17, 2022 1 month ago

Ocoee fashion designer gears up for second S&M Custom Design World Tour Fashion Show

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The show will kick off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld.
by: Annabelle Sikes Staff Writer

Ocoee fashion designer Santia McKoy is returning this summer with her second S&M Custom Design World Tour Fashion Show. 

In 2021, S&M Custom Design designer McKoy made history in the fashion world by orchestrating the first ever high fashion show to be held in Orange County by one company and one designer, with over 50 models from across the globe.

Throughout her years, McKoy said she had a dream and vision for herself where she imagined the mark she wanted to leave on the world. 

Now, having not limited herself to what other's said was not possible, she is watching her dreams unfold. 

This year, the show will pay homage to Juneteenth, an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, which has been celebrated by African-Americans since the late 1800s. 

McKoy said she believes in fighting the boundaries and adversaries she faced, and still faces today, in order to make not only her dreams come true, but to also give models across the nation the opportunity to walk in a fashion show, regardless of their race, gender, or background.

Like Barbara Jordan, she said she believes that “we, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves.”

"We must be open minded and not be so judgmental, as we are often prone to do," McKoy said. 

The show will feature 70 uniquely created designs from seven different collections.

In addition, McKoy said she has special performances and surprises in store for guests in attendance. Vendors and a live deejay will also be present. 

“I want to have something in fashion for everyone,” McKoy said. “No matter where you come from or where you are at now, now you are who you are meant to be because there is no one in the world like you. You are beauty. You are perfect.”

The show will kick off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld. 

To purchase tickets, click here. To learn more about S&M Custom Design, click here. 

BACKGROUND

Fashion was McKoy’s first love and passion.

Born and raised in Haiti, McKoy came from humble beginnings. Unfair labor systems, poor road conditions, dwindling agricultural practices, lack of sanitation and water supply all were common for McKoy.

During her childhood, McKoy spent hours working in her family’s small clothing shop where she first learned to sew. At 16 years old, McKoy fell in love with fashion.

McKoy said she would work relentlessly designing clothes for herself, her friends and other children.

Although the future for McKoy is bright, accomplishing her dreams has been anything but easy.

“If you want something you cannot simply just wish it,” McKoy said. “I worked hard to make my dreams a reality, and I will not stop.”

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Annabelle Sikes is a staff writer at the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She graduated in May 2021 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in sociology.  Her past...

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