WHOLLY TOLEDO: Isabel and Ruben Toledo bared a bit of their creative lives with Simon Collins during a public chat Tuesday night at Parsons The New School for Design. When a student asked Isabel Toledo about being a constructionist, she said, “Constructionist? I’m a construction worker, that’s for sure. I am constantly obsessed with how things are made. I even make his sculptor stand.”

Ruben Toledo continued, “Her clothes are really made from the inside out. How it looks on the outside is almost an afterthought.”

This story first appeared in the March 9, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The designer is also industrious. She decided to stop doing runway shows 15 years ago in order to invest “every single penny” into her company and has since expanded her studio, improved its machinery and hired more seamstresses. “That is a daring to do thing because we’re not part of the media side of fashion,” her husband said.

The pair are working on a design project in Mexico that will debut in 2012 or 2013, but they declined to say more than that.

During the Q&A, they offered students some free advice. Ruben Toledo suggested working with people they like because, inevitably, the day will come when they do something they don’t like or vice versa. Isabel Toledo added, “You have to do one little thing that you love to come back to.”

Her husband continued, “That is the secret, really. You have to love what you do. Believe me, we wouldn’t do what we do if we didn’t love fashion and art. Fashion allows people, even artists, to join that complete mash-up. You don’t have to be part of a gigantic corporation to do that.”

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