Having grown up in predominantly white cities, it took me more years than I’d like to admit to fully embrace being Mexican. Once I did, though, I pushed myself to seek out and support Hispanic and Latinx designers. And, let me tell you, this journey has brought me nothing but an immense amount of joy.
Upon discovering talents like Willy Chavarria, Luar’s Raul Lopez, and Victor Barragán, I gained a renewed sense of pride. Over the years, I’ve watched these creative forces disrupt societal expectations and create forward-thinking, contemporary designs that still honor heritage and tradition.
As we kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, I wanted to share and celebrate some of my favorite Hispanic and Latinx designers, from up-and-coming names like Garmette and Sanchez Kane to established forces in the fashion world like Gabriela Hearst and Manolo Blahnik. The diversity of their influences, techniques and aesthetics is a beautiful reflection of their wide range of cultures, upbringings and generations.
Alejandra Alonso Rojas
Alejandra Alonso Rojas, a Parsons and Central Saint Martins graduate who was born in Madrid and raised in New York City, is known for her luxurious silks and handmade knitwear in a cheerful, sophisticated color palette. Her crocheted bathing suits and cocktail dresses are the foundation of a dream resort wardrobe.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Bryan Escareño started his brand Amor Prohibido with the mission of telling the stories of his culture and community through his work. As seen in his most recent collection, titled Forever Yours, Escareño continues to create elevated staples con amor.
Brazilian-born designer Ana Khouri makes jewelry that feels like an extension of the body. Khouri’s practice stems from her degree in sculpture at the Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado in São Paulo, and all pieces are made exclusively with 18 karat fair mined, fair trade gold or platinum and ethically and responsibly sourced gemstones.
Mexican designer Victor Barragán never had any formal training in fashion design. His label initially began as a small-scale experimental T-shirt company in 2010, but has since evolved into a visionary ready-to-wear line that combines his architectural background with a signature ’90s punk aesthetic.
Pamela Hernández, an artist born and raised in Costa Rica and now based in Mexico, designs innovative shoes using historical artisinal practices. Each shoe in her line, Cruda, is handmade from upcycled leather and wood.
Raised in Mexico City and now based in Los Angeles, Daniela Villegas makes jewelry with classical shapes and surprising and exciting elements like feathers, wood and porcupine quills. All of her pieces are handcrafted and one of a kind.
Lifelong friends Mercedes de Maria Genoveva and Daniela Novelo’s fledgling accessories brand, De Maria, is already beloved for its unique pieces that honor the founders’ Latinx heritage. All of their designs, from heeled cowboy boots to croc-effect card holders, are made by artisan workshops in Mexico.
Mexican born and Texas raised Sara Beltrán’s fine jewelry line, Dezso, is an ode to her love of the sea. Beltrán’s eclectic designs — which include seashells, starfish, and lobsters — are a refreshing take on fine jewelry.
Elena Velez, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, credits her single mom and her upbringing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as essential reference points for her creativity. Her brand debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2021 and has become an instant favorite for its experimental runway shows, raw-edge tailoring and sculptural silhouettes.
Each piece in the Los Angeles-based, Mexico-born designer Adriana Fonseca’s slow fashion brand, Fonseca, is made to order, which allows for more options in terms of size inclusivity and flattering silhouettes for all body types.
Uruguayan designer Gabriela Hearst’s luxury ready-to-wear and accessories line is a modern classic. Each garment—from patterned knit ponchos to minimalist boots and bags—is made with care, purpose and extraordinary attention to detail. In 2020, she won the CFDA’s American Womenswear Designer of the Year Award.
Elliette Saavedra launched her brand, Garmette, in 2019, and hasn’t looked back since. The Mexican-Peruvian designer creates pieces with a sporty touch that are inspired by her culture and driven by a mission to empower women in their everyday lives.
Colombian knitwear designer Monika Silva’s brand Gauge81 puts a modern twist on ‘90s nostalgia. The collection includes seasonless pieces such as high-waisted pants, spaghetti strap crop tops, miniskirts and satin dresses.
Brian Saucedo’s LA-based brand Ghetto Rodeo is all about community. Saucedo continues to collaborate with close family and friends, including, most recently, photographer Andres Norwood and model Erik Martinez.
If there’s any label that encapsulates the feeling of an endless summer, it’s Gimaguas. Founded by the Spanish twin sisters Sayana and Claudia Durany, the collection emits a nostalgic warmth and an always-on-vacation vibe, no matter what you’re doing.
Krystal Paniagua built her eponymous knitwear line around fluid, adaptable pieces that work on a wide range of body types. Her goal is to create a dynamic, constantly-evolving conversation between designer and wearer.
Designer Adriana Manso’s playful jewelry brand was initially inspired by her grandmother’s collection of acrylic accessories. La Manso’s colorful pieces, from now-iconic rings to whimsical, kinetic earrings, feel both retro and contemporary all at once.
Marina Larroudé launched her shoe and accessories brand Larroudé with her husband in February 2021, and it has quickly become a fashion industry favorite. Her patterned clogs, patent leather Mary Janes and floral cowboy boots are all made in a single factory in Brazil, where she’s from.
Brooklyn-based designer Raul Lopez began to design at the age of 12, inspired by the fluidity of the downtown New York scene. This season, Lopez’s brand Luar brings forth yet another cutting-edge collection.
There are shoes, and then there are Manolos. Spanish designer Manolo Blahnik’s designs are so iconic—so elegant, comfortable, and impeccably crafted—that most fashion obsessives are on a first-name basis with him.
Pronounced “Marcella,” MARCE777A refers to the “angel number” 777, which symbolizes self-discovery and personal growth. Founder Marcella Alvarado creates timeless silhouettes that celebrate the female body and inspire confidence.
The just-launched brand PALOMA MARIA is a contemporary luxury womenswear line inspired by founder Paloma Martinez’s blend of Mexican and Croatian heritage. Martinez designs high quality closet staples that have an everday luxury feel.
Designed in Barcelona by Paloma Lanna, Paloma Wool (a play on the translation of her name) is a brand inspired by the muted, organic colors of Catalonia. Lanna also uses her platform as a space to collaborate with artists like Inés Folch, Sara Yukiko, and Céline Breton.
Paula Canovas del Vas
Paula Canovas del Vas founded her label in 2018, and she’s known for playing with the juxtaposition between the beautiful and the grotesque. Her standout designs include short dresses that explode with vibrant patterns, shoes with reverse peaked toes, and statement bags with whimsical shapes and texture.
Persona the Shop
Jasmine Julie Maldonado, founder of Persona the Shop, is a first generation Mexican-American who followed her mother’s lead in opening her own business in 2020. In addition to designing her own pieces, Maldonado also spearheads Midcity Mercado, which aims to uplift and unify the POC community.
Roberto Sanchez is one to put on your radar. Not only does Sanchez have his own label of unique one-off pieces, but he is also one of the co-founders of Hi-BYE, one of Mexico City’s best boutiques.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Sabrina Olivera has always been fascinated by the stories we tell with clothing, fabrics and textures. Olivera’s collections explore eroticism, sexuality, and their repression.
Sacred Scraps founder Sofia Lutteroth sources a range of vintage, antique and ancient beads to hand-make her one-of-a-kind accessories.
To say that designer Bárbara Sánchez-Kane solely designs clothing would be an understatement – she designs works of art. Born in Mérida, Mexico, Sánchez-Kane’s experimental collections keep the world of menswear on their toes. Sánchez-Kane’s current work is now on view at Kurimanzutto Gallery in New York until October 21st.
Mónica Santos Gil left her corporate fashion job in July 2020 to build her brand, Santos by Mónica. Since then, her sustainably made, Crayola-hued ready-to-wear and cheerful accessories have become a downtown-crowd favorite.
Stephanie Schultz-Wenk is the Creative Director of Sauer, one of Brazil’s most prominent and distinguished jewelers and a three-time recipient of the De Beers Diamond International Award.
Siempre, which means “always” in Spanish, is an LA based brand known for elegant designs that are reminiscent of the ’90s and early 2000s.
The Line by K
Every item in designer Karla Deras’ line of elevated basics—perfect ribbed tank tops, slim cropped turtlenecks and sexy jersey dresses—are made from the highest quality materials and cut to flatter every body.
Tiempos, the brainchild of Mexico City’s Esteban Tamayo, is a representation of the designer’s love for Mexico in its entirety — imperfections and all. His colorful, ultra-wearable sportswear feels retro and modern all at once.
Known for his oversized silhouettes, Willy Chavarria brings a fresh perspective to the world of menswear — and, more recently, womenswear. Each piece he designs is inspired by his Chicano heritage, which he transforms into a contemporary take on streetwear. Chavarria’s most recent SS24 collection took a spin on the chicano cowboy with touches of elegance laced throughout the show.
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