It's no secret that this year's Hispanic Heritage Month is looking a bit different. Though bereft of many of the usual festivities (parades, performances, and such), there is one silver lining for fashion lovers: the downtime creates the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with a few new Latinx fashion designers, whether established or emerging. Behind every winning label, there's a multitalented designer — many of whom are not just making coats, frocks, and skirts; but rather, clothing to serve as a conduit for their distinct heritage. That said, each is well worth recognizing and celebrating, as are their artful designs.
Take Colombian designer Silvia Tcherassi, for example — her styles, all of which were (and still are) locally made in Colombia, made her the first-ever Latin American designer invited to present at a European fashion week. Or Camila Coelho, whose start at a department store beauty counter paved the way for her to become a global fashion and beauty CEO. There's also Huguette Hubard, whose work for fashion brand Collectiva provides jobs for 40-plus expert artisan communities in Mexico. Each piece they create is imbued with these unique stories — stories that are passed on and circulated every time someone calls on them.
To peruse all the top Latinx designers, and see the manifold ways they've shaped the industry, read ahead:
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Latinx Fashion Designers: Silvia Tcherassi
A known trailblazer in Latin American couture, Silvia Tcherassi first segued from interior design to fashion, and eventually became the first Latin American designer to be invited to present at Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks. With all of her designs made in Colombia, with a clear focus on sustainability, each piece is steeped in a playful elegance that her home country's fashions are best known for.
Latinx Fashion Designers: Roberto Sánchez (Roberto Sánchez)
Having originally been inspired by his grandmother's closetful of retro frocks, Roberto Sánchez started his namesake label eight years ago in Mexico City. The brand is famous for its hallmark baby clown drawing, which Sánchez stumbled upon early in his design career, according to an interview with Vogue. "I had no paid job and I was heartbroken. I found this clown make-up package in a tiny store ... For me, it was a sign, and I remembered that I wasn’t alone." Since then, it has become a cult favorite emblem of the brand's, which is currently stocked at emerging Mexican concept store, Hi-BYE, which Sánchez himself co-founded.
Latinx Fashion Designers: Huguette Hubard (Collectiva)
Born in Mexico City, Hubard long held a fascination with fashion, moving to London to receive her degree in Fashion Design from St. Martins. Having worked at brands from DKNY to Pringle of Scotland, she eventually moved to Collectiva, which fashion entrepreneur Concepcion Orvananos founded as a means of bringing jobs to over 40 at-risk indigenous artisan communities in Mexico. With generations-old embroidery techniques passed down by women for centuries, it's said that one Collectiva garment may take as long as 90 hours to craft.
Latinx Fashion Designers: Kristen Gonzalez and Sam Romero (Selva Negra)
After connecting post-grad (Gonzales, from FIT; Romero, from Parsons), the two felt an immediate sense of connection around their Latina heritage. Selva Negra, their Brooklyn-based brainchild, is an exploration of their roots, as inspired by larger-than-life personalities and the bold shapes they choose to live their lives in. The two entirely bootstrapped the label in 2016, using just $500 and dead stock fabrics they'd collected. Today, they maintain their focus on upcycled materials, and also employ fair wage and ethical production practices in Los Angeles, where all pieces are manufactured.
Latinx Fashion Designers: Camila Coelho (Camila Coelho Collection)
Starting at a Dior makeup counter at her neighborhood Macy's, Camila Coelho's career have boomed since — with credits including CEO, global content creator, and Forbes 30 Under 30 alumni under her belt. Still, everything she does (creative directing her namesake label included) comes back to her roots. "Growing up in Brazil will always be a part of my design, for sure," she tells TZR in an interview. Her silhouettes are known for featuring boisterous prints and flirty, confident cuts, all of which fashion girls have flooded Revolve for time and time again. "I really want to see [all] women — diverse women, women all around the world, with different hair colors, different skin colors, different body shapes, you know, wearing my [designs] and giving me feedback. It's a brand that represents different types of women," she shares.
Latinx Fashion Designers: Francisco Cancino (Cancino)
After eight years with YAKAMPOT, during which time he turned the label into one of top fashion brands amongst celebrities in Mexico, designer Francisco Cancino left to introduce his namesake label. In 2019, Cancino debuted with scores of designs that draw inspiration from Mexican textiles. There's billowing trousers and balloon-sleeved frocks, all of which offering a sophisticated spin on his timeless aesthetic.