KIKI CORONA – Too Big for White Center?
by Margaret Ryan
Who would suspect that White Center sports an international fashion designer and retailer? Have you been to Kiki Corona on Delridge lately? Do you know Kiki has a nationwide following on Facebook? He shows his fashion creations there, but his fans actually have to travel to White Center to make a purchase. And they come, from all over the Northwest, including Canada. They even come from White Center itself.
If you’re lucky enough to be a size 0 to 8, then you’re likely to find something that catches your fancy at Kiki’s. Each creation (not designed by Kiki) will show off your figure and make you feel sexy. If you want something very special for a very special occasion (like running for the Miss Washington pageant), then Kiki will design and sew something fabulous for you. Much of his work is by hand, and he spares no expense in procuring the best fabrics available. Ostrich feathers, Swarovsky crystals, and French lace are just some of the materials he uses.
A native of Playa del Nayarillos, Mexico, Kiki moved to Los Angeles when he was 18. Initially, he trained as a model and found a coach for himself. His coach got him the best modeling gigs, and eventually a job as fashion commentator at Univision TV. Kiki interviewed top models for Univision, and learned a lot about the fashion business.
Kiki says he likes change, and that he saw White Center seven years ago as a place that was ready for it. He thinks the neighborhood has changed, with less street crime, but more homeless people. He appreciates the new businesses that have moved here during that time.
Due to the kind of fashion he sells in his shop, Kiki has borne the disrespect of some comments that he sells clothes for ‘hookers’. He says the comments are based on ignorance, and that he caters to a wide variety of customers from all walks of life. You’d have to meet Kiki yourself to see that he is a man of integrity and principle, who takes his business very seriously.
Kiki Corona is not the only fashion shop in the Dub-C. Angel’s and Gloria’s cater to the same market, but don’t take it as far as Kiki does. His is a very specialized, highly structured business that he believes will be very big someday.
Here’s hoping that it doesn’t get too big for White Center.