Sylvia Richards

The Gilded Serpent presents...

Sylvia Richards

While studying at the school of fine arts in Dominican Republic, later working as a model, and as the art gallery manager of Altos de Chavon, Ms. Sylvia Richards always exercised her creativity, and superb organizing skills. She explains, "My job at Altos de Chavon was one of the most fascinating jobs I had, not only because I got to work on the organization of the art shows, but I also gained valuable experience in organizing concerts at Altos de Chavon. "Sylvia came to the US sponsored by Altos de Chavon, from her home in the Dominican Republic, to work as a model in New York City.

Later she was hired as an assistant for a movie producer. Part of her job was to organize large events and parties for the film and entertainment community in New York City, which included promoting this company’s projects at hand. For every event she organized, she started making new outfits and hats, and recycling old ones for herself. She wore hats everywhere… they often functioned as an opening piece to lively conversation, as people would admire her sense of style.

Before long, her friends suggested she start a business, and HAT and SOUL! was born. As she grew as a designer and went back to school to study at FIT, the company became Sylvia Richards Inc, a general investor. Her first customers included Galleries Lafayette in New York City, Saks Fifth Ave, Nordstrom, Henri Bendel, and Jacobsons. Sylvia Richards developed a reputation with major department stores, specialty stores, and private customers throughout the country, Japan and Europe, as a superb hat and millinery designer.

Sylvia Richards fell in love with belly dancing when her personal trainer at the New York Sports Club suggested that she should take classes at the Soho location. Since then, her fascination with this art has kept growing. She has taken classes with Reyna Alcala, Diamond Salome, Jannelle Cortes, Francesca Maria, and Diana Tarkan. Today, Sylvia Richards is organizing “Festival Isis de Baile Oriental” out of the love and respect she has developed for this art, and out of gratitude to all her teachers, and to the supporters to her business.

Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Sylvia Richards

  • Shimmying on the Shores of Paradise, The Dancers of the Dominican Republic
    White sands and turquoise waters come to mind when most picture the Dominican Republic, but the Caribbean paradise offers visitors far more than its natural beauty. It may come as a surprise that the small tropical country most known for its pristine beaches and Caribbean hospitality also has a vibrant and thriving belly dancing scene.