News & Awards

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

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.”

Written by: Annabelle Sikes, West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/ocoee-fashion-designer-gears-up-for-second-sandm-custom-design-world-tour-fashion-show

World Tour Fashion Show Designer Santia McKoy releases her new line “The Game” collection today.

World Tour Fashion Show Designer Santia McKoy released her new collection “The Game” today. 

McKoy, who we first told you about here, was born and raised in Haiti, coming from humble beginnings. 

After the success of the first World Tour Fashion Show, which we told you about here, the Ocoee resident knew that with the momentum gained from the show, it was go-time for the next collection.

“The Game” collection will feature five designs to start, with additional pieces to be released live at the next S&M Custom Design annual World Tour Fashion Show at the Doubletree by Hilton at SeaWorld. 

With countless hours drafting the concepts and designs for the line, McKoy came to a crossroad in terms of naming the new collection. She said she decided to take a walk, enjoy nature and have a talk with God, in which the name “The Game” came to mind. 

I find that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks,” the fashion designer said. “My family inspired me to make this collection. Of course, family is everything. My family is also the face of my brand. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I’m so thankful.”

The new collection is made with custom-made fabric, specifically created for the brand.

S&M Custom Design Manager and Coordinator Tiffany O’Connor explained that all the collections feature unique custom fabrics manufactured specifically for S&M Custom Design. 

“This way our clients will always have one-of-a-kind fabric that they will never be able to obtain elsewhere,” O’Connor said. 

The second World Tour Fashion Show will take place on June 18, 2022. For tickets, click here

For more information on the line or to place an order, click here

Written by: Annabelle Sikes, West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com

https://www.orangeobserver.com/photo-gallery/ocoee-fashion-designer-releases-new-line?fbclid=IwAR0zX-mouoeETr8ZOo4Ayi9SJ-AzlwXAWCYGe_8p3S1q45QTxK8Ujmm601Q

Ocoee international fashion designer Santia McKoy from S&M Custom Design LLC is searching for models for her World Tour Fashion Show.

We first told you about McKoy and her fashion journey here. Born and raised in Haiti, she came from humble beginnings. 

The Ocoee resident held her first World Tour Fashion Show in September and is now searching for models for her second show, set to take place in June. 

The fashion designer is looking for both male and female models to wear her unique and custom-made designs that accent her Haitian culture, other cultures, and her passion for color and creativity.

Models must be at least 16 years old to participate. 

All models must wear black pants and females must bring heels. Models must also bring their comp-cards to the event. 

For models out-of-state, comp-cards must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17, to smworldtourfashionshow@gmail.com.

Those who have not purchased S&M Custom Design logo T-shirts can submit payments on Cash App Adrian McKoy at $HMcKoy. A few T-shirts will also be available for purchase at casting. 

The casting call will be hosted at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld at 10100 International Drive. 

The fashion show will occur at 6 p.m. on June, 18, at the same location.

To register, models can click here

Written by: Annabelle Sikes, West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/ocoee-fashion-designer-hosting-model-casting-call

An Ocoee fashion designer is continuing to make momentous moves in the fashion world. 

International fashion designer Santia McKoy of S&M Custom Design, who we first told you about here, hosted her first-ever fashion show in September, which we told you about here.

Now, McKoy is continuing to pursue her passions with her newest addition to her high-class fashion lines. 

The Unity Wedding Dress is the first Haitian inspired wedding dress McKoy has ever created.

The two-piece dress catches the eyes with striking red and blue colors to represent the Haitian flag. 

Born and raised in Haiti, McKoy came from humble beginnings. She said the piece is a tribute to her home country where her dream first began.

McKoy said the inspiration for the dress did not only come from where she was born, but also from the significant culture the area possesses. 

“Haiti’s culture to me is unity,” McKoy said. “No matter what my country or its people goes through, unity is the root of everything.”

The fashion designer explained that it isn’t very often she gets to see her people or her culture involved in weddings and wedding attire. She said she would love to see it more and it was the primary reason of her creating the dress.

McKoy said “L’UNION FAIT LA FORCE” are the very meaningful words on the Haitian flag. These words mean “UNITY MAKES STRENGTH.”

“I find these words to be very true and great words the whole world should live by,” McKoy said. “As a Haitian fashion designer, wedding dresses became my specialty. I’m always looking for ways to add the culture I love so much in my work. I’ve never seen this done. So I took a chance with it and it turned out the way I wanted it and more.”

The Ocoee resident said the dress took her about a week to make. Before beginning the process, she spent two days thinking and creating. Each side of the dress was made with 12-yards of satin fabric. The two-piece style of the dress allows it to transform into a reception dress after the wedding. 

The unique wedding dress has already gone viral on Tik-Tok with over 50,000 views in less than 24 hours. 

The dress will be available for purchase beginning January 2022 on the S&M Custom Design website

McKoy will host her second World Tour Fashion Show on June 18, 2022. The show will feature 70 international models. 

Written by: Annabelle Sikes, West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com

https://www.orangeobserver.com/photo-gallery/ocoee-fashion-designer-to-release-her-first-haitian-inspired-wedding-dress

Ocoee resident Santia McKoy hosted her first fashion show with models, designs and performances all by her company, S&M Custom Design LLC.

Born and raised in Haiti, McKoy came from humble beginnings. Now, she is taking the world by storm with her unique designs that accent her Haitian culture and her passion for color and creativity.

“With God, everything is possible. Never give up on your dreams,” McKoy said. “World Tour Fashion Show was everything for me. Being able to see my dreams unfold brought me to tears. A little girl from Haiti, did that! It took lots of tears, hard-work, prayer, an amazing support system and team to get here. We managed to overcame all the obstacles and in the end, history was made.”

McKoy’s show featured five different lines with 60 models from across the United States.

Diana Otieno, who modeled in the show and was born and raised in Kenya, said McKoy exceeded her expectations.

“This Fashion show honestly inspired me because I can fully express myself with what I actually want to have on my body,” Otieno said.

Edward Tapia, personal model for S&M Custom Design, said that he was impressed with all of the designs on the runway including his light blue custom design suit.

“With every outfit I wear I feel royal and regal.  World Tour Fashion Show was not the exception,” Tapia. “I felt handsome and empowered as I walked the runway, and the crowd made it known that I looked fierce. One of my favorite moments was working with all the models backstage helping them bring Santia’s creation to life. Designer Santia once told me ‘Edward, the journey to our destiny will never be easy, but you should never forget we are unstoppable.'”

McKoy’s manager and coordinator, Tiffany O’Connor, said the fashion show is only the beginning of the journey.

“In life, one of the most fulfilling feeling is knowing I can help others in accomplishing their goals and dreams, while doing the same for myself,” O’Connor said. “Seeing my sister’s dream unfold on Saturday was the best feeling in the world. All the sleepless nights, hard-work, and tears was well worth the end result.”

In the future, McKoy said she hopes to have many more fashion shows and even open her own stores in Orlando, Los Angeles, New York City and Haiti. She said she hopes to open the stores by 2025.

Written by: Annabelle Sikes, West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/ocoee-resident-hosts-first-ever-fashion-show

https://www.orangeobserver.com/photo-gallery/2021-world-tour-fashion-show

Fashion was Santia 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.

Now, at 36, the Ocoee resident will host her first fashion show with models, designs and performances all by her company, S&M Custom Design LLC.

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.”

DREAM INTO REALITY

In 2007, McKoy immigrated to the United States. She later obtained a degree in medical coding and billing from Valencia College. However, because of the decline in the field, she was unable to find work.

McKoy said that bump in the road only made her more focused on accomplishing her goals.

“I know who I am, and I was confident in myself and the ability that I had to create a life for myself,” she said. “Something difficult for me turned into something that I knew I had to accomplish for myself and my family to show them that you can truly do anything you set your mind to if you just believe in yourself.”

McKoy soon began traveling the United States and Europe, expanding her brand by entering fashion shows and earning a multitude of awards. In 2017, she participated in her first fashion show, where she was hired to help create some of the featured pieces.

However, when one of the main designers faced complications, McKoy stepped up to help with the collection she helped to create — with no professional fashion show experience.

It proved to be a turning point in her career.

WORLD TOUR FASHION SHOW

In 2018, McKoy was invited to her first New York Fashion Week. She entered the show with 23 models featuring unique designs that accented her Haitian culture and her passion for color and creativity. Her line utilized one unique fashion with various styles and clothing design represented throughout the collection.

McKoy said her first time participating in NYFW was a cultural shock. The representation of the models showed lack of diversity and creativity.

“The models all looked the same,” McKoy said. “To me, anyone can be a model, and everyone is beautiful, so there is no specific standard for what beauty is or should be. I knew that I wanted to capture the beauty of everyone being themselves in my collections.”

McKoy again returned to NYFW in 2019 and then attended the Los Angeles Fashion Week the same year.

Now in 2021, McKoy will host her first fashion show —with all designs and models crafted and selected by her.

The World Tour Fashion Show will feature 60 models from across the United States with five different lines, special performances and even some surprises. The show will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, at the DoubleTree By Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld.

“The designs will be something that have never been seen in Orlando, Vogue or New York Fashion Week,” McKoy said. “The designs will do more than look beautiful they will tell a story.”

McKoy said although she loves living in West Orange, she never will forget her roots. She said the turmoil happening in her home country now weighs heavily on her heart.

“It’s very unsettling to see my country go through so much calamity and pain,” she said. “From the killing of our people, the assassination of our president and the recent earthquake. We will soon have a well-deserved time of peace and happiness. Though it doesn’t seem like it now, I believe it.”

In the future, McKoy said she hopes to have many more fashion shows and even open her own stores in Orlando, Los Angeles, New York City and Haiti. She said she hopes to open the stores by 2025.

“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.”

Written by: Annabelle Sikes, West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com.

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/you-are-beauty

 
Fashion designer Santia McKoy went from sewing dresses to face masks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This time of year, Santia McKoy normally would be designing and sewing custom prom dresses.

The Ocoee fashion designer had some custom dresses already in the works, but then, proms were canceled because of COVID-19.

“All the prom dresses (have been) canceled,” McKoy said. “Everything I was supposed to do was canceled. I have a fashion show I was supposed to do on April 11, but everything is canceled because of the pandemic.”

This time of the year is typically one of the busiest for McKoy’s business, S&M Custom Design, so the recent cancellations hurt her business. Despite the financial impacts, McKoy found a different use for her sewing skills. After hearing about the nationwide short supply and high demand for face masks, she decided to start making them herself. Before she knew it, she switched from stitching prom dresses to cotton face masks. 

“I said to myself, ‘Let me start making some masks and then donate them,’” she said. “I made three and then I did a post (on social media). After that, it was over. Everybody shared it on social media. … Now, everybody is asking me for masks.”

Because they are cotton masks, they don’t offer the same level of protection as N95 masks. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended individuals going out in public should wear some type of cloth face covering to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

“You can still wear the medical masks under it,” McKoy said of her cloth masks. “You can wash it, too. As soon as you get home, you can put it in the washer.” 

Since making the switch, McKoy has sewn hundreds of face masks for health care workers. So far, she has sewn more than 250 masks that were sent locally, as well as to other parts of the country. 

Although she has other designers who work for her and her business, she has taken up the task of making the face masks on her own so the other designers can stay home. She does get a little help from her husband, though. 

McKoy added that although she’s been shipping masks to medical workers, she also has masks available to any individual who might need one. She only asks that individuals who want a mask contribute a donation in exchange for one, as the donations help McKoy make more masks. Individuals who want a mask can reach out to McKoy through social media.

“What inspired me (to help) is the whole situation happening,” McKoy said, referring to the pandemic. “I think it’s necessary for me to help, because I’m in a community that’s helping to support me (through my business), so it’s time for me to show, in some way, (support) back to the community.”

Written by: Eric Gutierrez, Staff Writer

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/ocoee-fashion-designer-makes-a-stitch-switch

CHOOSE HOPE STORY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-Ik_YdsI9o

Born from a feeling of isolation and a fierce desire to find purpose in the face of helplessness, #ChooseHopeStory is the collective effort of over 250 filmmakers across the globe to share stories of compassion and unity amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic. A global team of filmmakers came together over the course of just ten days to develop the creative, bring together footage, and edit the four-minute video while filming up until the last day on several continents around the world. Each filmmaker brought in their own unique perspective of the pandemic in the film creation – from an expectant mother who is 33 weeks pregnant to a therapist and filmmaker who is struggling with the anger that the uncertainty has caused him. You can watch a film about many of the filmmakers’ experience making this film here: musestorytelling.com/choosehopestory To continue sharing the stories of these incredible moments amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Muse and their community are challenging people from around the world to continue to come together with stories of hope, sharing their inspiring moments on social media with the #choosehopestory.

—————– Muse Storytelling www.musestorytelling.com Musicbed SyncID: MB01AHKI6JSVPEV

Spring typically means prom season, the busy season for Ocoee fashion designer Sentia McKoy but her business of creating custom formal dresses is on hold while she puts her skills to use to help medical workers responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Facemasks are in short supply and high demand all over the U.S. due to the respiratory illness known as COVID-19.

McKoy is trying to help sewing 24 masks per day using a special African fabric.

The masks are for health care professionals in central Florida and nationwide.

On Friday, she sent a shipment to New Jersey.

Any medical provider who needs a mask can reach out to her Facebook page or website.

To people who know McKoy, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise.

Among the designer’s awards is one also for community service.

With every mask sewn, her community grows.

Written by: Jamie Seh, Sports Director

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/03/27/ocoee-dress-designer-using-talents-to-help-healthcare-workers-on-frontlines/

AWARDS & RECOGNITION