Sully Bonnelly, a native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, grew up with fashion being an intrinsic part of his identity.
He studied architecture at UASD before moving to New York where he graduated from Parsons School of Design and began his career in fashion as Oscar de la Renta’s assistant. He then worked as a designer for the houses of Bill Blass and Eli Tahari before starting his namesake collection in 1998, retailing at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and other better stores around the world. He later returned to Oscar de la Renta as creative director for the O Oscar Collection. In 2000 Sully Bonnelly Accents was launched, an exclusive collection for Home Shopping Network (HSN) and HSN en Espanol, making him the first Latin American designer featured on a shopping network. Bonnelly developed as a Creative Director in 2001, Citrine a Contemporary Sportswear, in 2008, Muse a Contemporary Dresses, and in 2012, Isaac Mizrahi New York a Better Sportswear and Dress collection.
Two years later the Sully Bonnelly Bridal collection was launched. In 1999 he received the Golden Coast Award, a prestigious fashion award in Chicago. In 2001 was elected member to the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) joining an important community of over 300 American fashion and accessory designers. Additionally, he has been honored by several Dominican organizations for his outstanding work in fashion. New York Governor George Pataki honored him in 2005 in celebration of Dominican Heritage Month. Most recently Bonnelly received the Orden al Merito Ciudadano, a recognition given to Dominicans all over the world who have distinguished themselves in their chosen careers and done honor to their homeland. Past honorees include: the authors Junot Diaz and Julia Alvarez, the musician Michael Camilo and fashion designer Oscar de la Renta.
Memories of his travels around the world infuse all his designs, forming his imaginary scrapbook of colors, textures, rhythms and fragrances. These inspirations materialize into exciting designs that instill in women who wear them a feeling of well being and self-confidence.
PHOTO: EVA HART