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Local Juan Carlos Pinera designed Miss America gown

Staff Writer

Miss America may have been Miss New York, but her style is from South Florida.

That gown of hers - white, understated, asymmetrical, one-shoulder - is from Miami-based Juan Carlos Pinera.

"It's double-faced matte jersey cut on the bias," says the Cuban-American designer. "You have to double it otherwise you'll be naked up there."

This is old habit for Pinera who has outfitted many pageant contestants over the years. But when it came to his big moment last Saturday - a first time wardrobing a winner - he missed it.

"I did not watch," he explains, laughing. "The owner of the store [Regalia in Orlando where Mallory Hytes Hagan purchased the gown] texted me. I was looking for it and I couldn't find it on TV, so I started watching something else."

Pinera's partner Cesar Solorzano - who used to sell his designs at the now-closed Lyca Blu boutique on Las Olas - says he was surprised that a Miss America contestant went for such a simple look.

"We really didn't think they would go for it," Solorzano says. "I guess they were looking for something a little more sexy and elegant instead of all the beading. It's simple. There are no rhinestones. No feathers."

Pinera agrees, adding: "I've seen the picture of the five finalists and she really stood out. Everyone else is in sequins and glitz and everything else. I'm really surprised. Usually in Miss America they are very old-fashioned."

The gown retails for around $895. Locally, Juan Carlos Pinera is sold at Euphoria in Aventura Mall.


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