Cuban-American designer Narciso Rodríguez has a style that’s very fashion-forward. Art, for him, is an inspiration.

Now a local museum in New York City, El Museo del Barrio, wants to honor well-known designer who has made a name for himself in fashion is one of the most influential Latinos in the country. In its announcement, El Museo said that Rodríguez is considered one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in America.

"It's a great compliment. I don't know if it is necessarily true but it is a great compliment. I like to think that I have given back to the community," Rodríguez said during an AP interview.

Rodriguez said he has been connected to the museum, which promotes Latino, Caribbean and Latin American art, for many years. It also offers youth programs to provide young people access to education. "I am always so proud of what they have done for the community, for New York, for Latinos, and beyond the Latino world, for so many unprivileged children, families, with outreach programs," he said.

Born in New Jersey to Cuban parents, Rodríguez has been recognized for a simple, elegant, architectural style that has been worn by first lady Michelle Obama and actresses like Sarah Jessica Parker, Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba and Juliana Margulies, who often wears him on the red carpet.

All his designs, he said, include his Latino heritage.

"Latin men love Latin women, it is part of the culture, we celebrate women in a very special way and I think that is present in my work," he said. "I do it by making them beautiful, sensual."

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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