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Esteban Osuna: Tucson Native Taking the Red Carpet

By: Lauren Bukoskey

Esteban Osuna almost did not walk at his high school graduation because he could not afford his cap and gown.

Now he is designing his own clothes.

Funny enough, that is the last profession he thought he would go into despite all the success he now has.

Osuna, the Tucson native and fashion designer, will be dressing Arizona’s only Tony Award voter Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, for the Tony Awards red carpet June 10th. Osuna has three words he would use for to describe his Southwestern and European style: Sophisticated, edgy and for the confident woman.

This is where Jennings-Roggensack comes in.

She is the executive director at ASU Gammage and will be gracefully walking on the red carpet at Broadway’s biggest night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The dress she will be wearing took Osuna four consecutive days to complete initially for his latest collection.

“It was the final piece in the runway, it was my showstopper,” Osuna said.

The name of the dress is “Casa de Osuna” and it fits like a glove for what Osuna envisioned.

Photo courtesy of ASU Gammage

“[Jennings-Roggensack is] very confident in what she wears, she’s just full of energy and pretty out there. I just had a sense. These are the people I love working with, she has passion. She was very forward, [and] knew what she wanted,” Osuna said.

The couture dress is actually two pieces, consisting of a body suit and a skirt made out of a floral Spanish brocade.

It can be a challenging fabric to work with since it “does fray really quickly,” Osuna said.

Despite Osuna’s success in fashion design, he dreaded the idea of ever becoming one. He always wanted to pursue interior design, and was emancipated at a very young age, so the idea of actually designing clothes seemed too far off to be a reality.

He worked in his dad’s boot shop and loved all the textures and different types of leathers he worked with. It was like Osuna’s personal creative playground.

“[I would think] what else can I make? From there, it just became really fun,” Osuna said.

Photo courtesy of ASU Gammage

His imagination is what got him where he is today, but not without some struggles. When the Art Institute of Tucson took a look at his portfolio and suggested he should pursue fashion instead of interior design, he was stunned.

“I could barely afford my own clothes. I thought she was joking,” Osuna said.

Osuna started out as a young emancipated adult who could barely make ends meet. He never thought his career would lead him to world of fashion designing. If Osuna hadn’t reached out of his comfort zone and pushed his talent, he would never be where he is today working with established people like Jennings-Roggensack.

“If you find something that you actually tend to go to,” Osuna said. “Take risks and see where you go,” Osuna said.

Osuna is currently working on his first men’s swimwear line which will debut next year.

What would you wear on the red carpet? Let us know on Instagram and Twitter!


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