Jeep is Heading off the Road and Onto the Runway as Exclusive Automotive Sponsor of Esteban Cortazar Show During NY Fashion Week

NEW YORK--Sept. 11, 2003--Esteban Cortazar, 19, has only been old enough to drive for a short time, but the youngest designer ever to show at New York Fashion Week already has "designs" on Jeep(R) vehicles. The Jeep brand and DaimlerChrysler's Northeast Business Center will be the exclusive automotive sponsors of Cortazar's next New York fashion show, on Sept. 18.

Considered one of the world's most important fashion events, New York Fashion Week is Sept. 12-19. Cortazar's show will take place at 5 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the MAO Space on the 4th floor of the Atlas Building, at 66 West 38th Street between 5th and 6th avenues.

"Individual style, an eagerness to explore and mastery of his chosen path -- that describes Esteban Cortazar and makes him a natural fit for the Jeep brand," said Michael Muldoon, Sales and Promotions Manager, DaimlerChrysler Northeast Business Center, New York. "The fashion industry is tough, and at the young age of 19 this tremendous young talent has already gained considerable attention for successfully fusing his Latin American artistic heritage with Miami's hip cool to create international fashion trends. We are thrilled that Jeep is sponsoring this unveiling of his latest collection, particularly during Hispanic Heritage Month."

A native of Bogota, Colombia, and the only child of jazz singer Dominque Vaughn and artist Valentino Cortazar, Esteban Cortazar moved to Miami Beach's Ocean Drive in 1995. In 1997 he met famous designer Todd Oldham who was opening a boutique in South Beach. Later that year, Cortazar was invited to be a guest at Oldham's show in New York, and he "fell in love with fashion."

Inspired by his New York experience, Cortazar produced and presented his first collection at the age of 13, stapling together vintage fabrics for a talent show at South Pointe Elementary School in Miami.

In March 2002 at age 17, he presented his first collection under the label CORTAZAR, which was featured four months later in the windows of Bloomingdale's flagship store in New York. The CORTAZAR spring/summer 2003 collection debuted in New York in September 2002 when Cortazar was only 18, making him the youngest designer to present his work on the runways of New York Fashion Week.

Cortazar unveiled his 51-piece CORTAZAR Fall/Winter 2003 collection in February 2003 in Manhattan during New York Fashion Week. Supermodels Naomi Campbell and Carmen Kass wore some of the 33 looks that were part of Cortazar's third collection, which was picked up by Bloomingdale's, Henri Bendel, and other fashionable retailers and boutiques. The young designer already has dressed actress Roselyn Sanchez to host the Latin Billboard Awards and singing sensation Paulina Rubio for the MTV Video Music Awards Latin America. R&B songstresses Ashanti and Beyonce Knowles also have worn his designs for their latest album covers.

Currently Cortazar is a student at Miami's Design and Architecture Senior High School, where he is studying fashion design. He graduates in 2004.

DaimlerChrysler's Northeast Business Center is one of eight DaimlerChrysler Business Centers around the country that act as a link between dealerships and corporate headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.

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