On March 24, 2020, internationally acclaimed fashion designer Jenny Polanco (1958–2020), born Jenny Altagracia Polanco de Léon, died in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, from complications of COVID-19.
The mother of a son and daughter was closely connected to the United States, having studied at the Parsons School of Design and often presenting her work, which featured fluid, ready-to-wear designs, during Miami Fashion Week. Her work, including woven handbags and handcrafted detail that reflected her Dominican heritage, was also featured in New York and Paris. She described her style as "a fluid dialogue between classic avant-garde style and essential elements from my region."
Jenny adhered to sustainability principles, creating an ethical brand with a strong Dominican identity. She mentored and supported many emerging talents and worked with several nonprofits and organizations. In 2012, she created JP Project in the town of Altos de Chavon—a space where young designers and artisans host pop-up shops and events to display their work. Jenny's website describes her as "a joyful, multifaceted, fascinating woman."