Each year on Sept. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off in full swing. And there’s no better way to celebrate than shopping from a Latinx-owned fashion brand, as that is one of the most important and impactful ways to support Hispanic communities. To get you started, TZR has compiled a list of established and emerging designers worth getting acquainted with. Many of these labels are cultivating a cultural discourse with each piece, and all of them could use your support.
Fashion has long been a conduit for cultural learning. (Think about the lasting impact Virgil Abloh’s creations had on the perception of Black identity or Rei Kawakubo’s innovative contributions to both the Asian and fashion communities that eventually led to a whole Met Gala exhibition celebrating the esteemed designer.) Scores of designers have captured the distinct essence of their heritage through artful clothing, thus sparking a conversation with each item put into the world. By supporting small Latinx designers, you’re helping to create a future for that dialogue.
Education aside, it’s also fun to simply purchase timeless wardrobe essentials or statement accessories from Latinx-owned labels such as LAPIMA, Cuyana, and Mozh Mozh. You’ll want to add all their pieces into your wardrobe ASAP. Ahead, find a non-exhaustive list of such lines to support every time you think about cracking open your wallet to shop.
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For a pair of statement sunnies, look no further than LAPIMA. The celebrity-loved Brazilian label takes inspiration from the country’s landscape and architecture to create its shades. The result? You can find a range of modern eyewear silhouettes, available in bright colors and earthy tones, that all possess a certain something special.
Ética’s premium, eco-friendly jeans prove that fashion and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive. (The label uses 90% less water, 63% less energy, and 70% fewer chemicals in its manufacturing processes compared to an average denim label.) Ética recycles its water for local farmland and compresses the stones used in denim washing into bricks that are subsequently used to build low-income housing. Additionally, it partners with charity initiatives and organizations, including One Tree Planted and Water.org.
Is your shopping wishlist filled with handbags from brands like Jacquemus, BY FAR, and Rejina Pyo that are minimalist and eye-catching? If that’s a yes, direct your attention to the Latinx-owned accessories label dubbed HEMINCUFF. The brand boosts an assortment of leather goods in clean, geometric shapes that can make a poignant sartorial statement, thanks to their bright hues dubbed electric orange, fire red, and bubblegum.
Gonza is always on top of the latest swimwear trends. The joyful beachwear brand launched in June 2021 and before long, the label became a trusted favorite amongst celebrity trendsetters like Hailey Bieber, Kourtney Kardashian, and Bella Hadid. Maximalists will be particularly fond of Gonza’s mood-lifting swimsuits: They come in juicy solid colors and a variety of chromatic, eye-catching prints inspired by places in the Caribbean, South America, and Europe.
In 2005, Miami-based Latinx designer Carolina Kleinman set out on a mission to create a brand that would help preserve artisanal traditions and support craftspeople from remote regions of Latin America. Nearly two decades later, her eclectic label has amassed a cult following — Jessica Alba, Karlie Kloss, and Emma Roberts all love the line. (The brand was even a staple in Roberts’ pregnancy style.) Today, Carolina K is offering everything from clothing and accessories to home goods, all complete with artful details and handmade embroidery, as well as a range of designs that were made entirely by hand.
A Lot Studio
If you’re seeking artful knitwear pieces and sweats, make sure to check out A Lot Studio. The label, created by Parsons School of Design alumni Valentina Ramirez and Ishita Mehta, is full of novel takes on streetwear and knits that will resonate with minimalists and maximalists alike. The best part? They’re super affordable, too — an average sweater or cardigan currently retails at a little over $100.
Sabrina Olivera’s first-ever sartorial endeavor, “Soldaderas,” was an homage to female soldiers in the Mexican Revolution and is full of soft cashmeres and rugged leather pieces. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this collection were donated to Red Nacional de Refugios A.C., a foundation dedicated to providing shelter for gender and domestic violence victims in her native Mexico. The Brooklyn-based fashion designer just released her Spring/Summer 2023 collection titled “Feromonas,” which you should check out as soon as possible.
Mozhdeh Matin founded her brand to draw attention to the high-quality fibers that are indigenous to Peru, where she was raised. All Mozh Mozh pieces are made by local artisans and uses generations-old Peruvian techniques and native materials — think alpaca or cotton. It is always expanding its horizons and looking to work with new artisans in nearby villages, too.
Often characterized by its playful, licentious spirit, BARRAGÁN is fashion’s answer to the youthful energy of Mexico City, offering confident styles for all genders. With its surprising colors and silhouettes, the emerging fashion brand is erupting across Instagram right now — and is sure to keep gaining popularity.
From Colombia-born designer Monika Silva, GAUGE81 is underpinned by constant experimentation with proportions and symmetry, toeing the line of the perfectly imperfect through sumptuous knits and satin workwear pieces.
Mexican-born fine jewelry designer Jonne Amaya is not one for repetition. Everything she makes is one-of-a-kind and highly personalized, created through an intimate design process with each client. Whether repurposing a family heirloom or starting fresh, Jonne’s elegant, understated styles are sure to withstand the test of time.
Selva Negra started as an entirely bootstrapped project, with $500 and some scrap fabrics, complied by the label’s founders Kristen Gonzalez and Sam Romero. Today, it’s a season-less and expressive fashion brand, that offers breezy dresses and wear-everywhere silhouettes inspired by its Latina heritage.
“Fewer, better” is the tagline for Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah’s minimalist label Cuyana. The co-founders want to encourage people to shop less and invest in sustainably made, high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Today, the brand offers a medley of bags, apparel, and small leather goods in neutral, muted hues that will seamlessly integrate into your wardrobe.
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