Designer Isabel Toledo dies

Isabel Toledo

Designer Isabel Toledo has died, aged 59.

The Cuban-American fashion star passed away on Monday following a battle with breast cancer, her husband Ruben Toledo confirmed to The New York Times.  

Following the news, a number of celebrities and fashion industry leaders took to social media to express their condolences.  

Designer Peter Som described Isabel as a "true beauty" in an Instagram post, while Elle magazine editor-in-chief Nina Garcia wrote, "The fashion world has lost today a rainbow of talent and joy. RIP my friend Isabel Toledo. You and your husband Ruben inspired us. You created magic and showed us how love is the most powerful tool to create fantasy. Today is a sad day. My deepest condolences."   

And alongside a slideshow of photos, actress Debi Mazar uploaded an emotional tribute to her longtime friend.

"My heart was ripped out today. I'm in shock. I woke up to news that one of my best friends, mentor, sister, godmother to my daughter (who has her namesake, Giulia Isabel), had passed," she wrote. "Isabel Toledo was truly one the strongest women I've ever known. Her and Ruben have held me under their wings and guided me through life for three decades. Their love was the example of what we all desire in life - epic, unconditional Love. Isabel was my spiritual guide, always steering me to the light and teaching me to be a LADY, a warrior. She was beyond intuitive with the biggest heart."  

Isabel, born Maria Isabel Izquierdo, attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design. She presented her first collection in 1984 and continued to create lines under her own brand, though served as creative director of Anne Klein for a brief stint in the mid-2000s.  

However, she is perhaps best known for outfitting former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama for several important events, and created the lemongrass yellow wool lace shift dress with matching overcoat that she wore to the first inauguration of her husband Barack Obama in 2009.  

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