Born in Germany to Puerto Rican parents, Paniagua moved to Texas around the age of five, and later to Puerto Rico, until she was 18. Paniagua credits the way she approaches her craft to her background and being exposed to traveling and many different environments growing up. “In a way, it made me humble,” she says. “It made me understand that I am just one person in this world; that there are many things happening that I am not part of or yet to discover.”

Martin Margiela and Helmut Lang are among Paniagua’s favorite designers, but her first encounter with “the power of aesthetics and appearance” was thanks to her grandmother and all the gems in her closet that piqued Paniagua’s interest in fashion. “I remember going through my grandmother’s closet and trying on her clothes and trying to make them appropriate for my age,” the designer says. Innocent curiosity and being…

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