Seasons come and go, and every year – with the help of activists, advocates, and creatives – the fashion industry gets a bit more diverse. And while Latinx fashion designers are still a vast minority of the schedule at New York Fashion Week, it’s safe to say all types of players leave their mark every season. In 2018, Next in Fashion’s Marco Marco became the first designer to have an all-trans model runway show at New York Fashion Week, while, in 2019, Brytiago became the first reggaetonero to walk in the week-long event.
This year, Latinxs were represented both on and off the runway (not to mention behind the scenes, hello editors, makeup artists, hair stylists, and PR execs) in barrier-breaking ways, from fashion week debuts to innovative collections. This is what we are celebrating for this week.
1. Jillian Mercado’s runway debut at The Blonds
Dominican model Jillian Mercado has created a space for herself in the fashion industry in the last few years, but this season marked her first runway at New York Fashion Week. “This moment was brought to you by every single person who has a disability around the world that has felt unseen and unheard,” Mercado wrote on her Instagram. Over the last few years, the model and actress, who was born with spastic muscular dystrophy, has been an advocate for more disabled visibility in fashion and media, landing spreads on Teen Vogue and now appearing on The L Word.
2. Barragán’s Mexico City-inspired show
Victor Barragán is part of a new crop of designers enchanting the New York masses one collection at a time. His Mexico City-inspired collection was full of mexa youth culture – hickeys included– exhibited through oversized suits, monochrome looks, and denim cropped bustiers.The designer, who is a CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund nominee, tapped makeup artist Marcelo Gutierrez to paint the above-mentioned hickeys on the models.
3. Gloria Trevi + Natti Natasha walk together at The Blonds
The Blonds closed their show with an appearance by Mexican icon Gloria Trevi and Dominican reggaetonera Natti Nathasha. The two walked the runway in skin-tight bodysuits, typical of a The Blonds runway. “It’s so beautiful to stumble upon each other in this life,” wrote Trevi about Natti Natasha on her Instagram.
4. Carmen Carrera strives for LGBTQ+ representation
New Jersey-native transgender model Carmen Carrera walked the Chromat show, which has continually brought out some of the most diverse castings in the last few years. Though it’s not the first time she walks with Chromat, the trailblazing model is still one of the few transgender women to walk in New York Fashion Week.
5. Miss Earth 2019 maker her debut
Puerto Rican beauty queen Nellys Pimentel visited New York for the first time to make her New York Fashion Week debut at Sergio Hudson’s show this week. The appearance comes a few months after Pimentel won the beauty pageant Miss Earth 2019, which focuses on promoting environmental causes and climate change. Her win scored Puerto Rico the record of being the first country with all major pageant crowns.
6. Gabriela Hearst’s take on sustainability
Uruguayan designer Gabriela Hearst is investing her big bag of Hearst empire cash into the future of fashion. For her latest collection, she only used old fabrics to create her looks, which featured an array of sleek coats, long skirts, two-piece suits, and turtlenecks. The designer also picked up unsold items from previous collections and repurposed them into new garments.
Editor’s Note: If we missed a major Latinx moment at New York Fashion Week, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below!