6 Latinx Moments from New York Fashion Week F/W 2020

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. 

View this post on Instagram

This moment was brought to you by…⁣⁣ Every single person who has a disability around the world that has felt unseen and unheard. For the countless of times that we all have shouted for respect and equal representation. Or for the times other people speak for us, not with us. For when we felt like we just didn’t belong in this world because no one thought that we were capable of doing anything. The times where people speak to everyone about our problems or our needs but us. ⁣ ⁣ This moment is brought to you by a young girl looking through magazines-collecting them to the point of basically being a hoarder and watching fashion television while taking notes of how to be the best in the industry-being glamorized by the world of fashion and loving every single moment of what she saw but wondering if she actually belonged. Wondering if they would actually accept her for being exactly who she is, even though she never saw someone who had a visible disability in those magazines or television. Imagining what that would look like was nothing but a dream, a fantasy. One that she was told again and again that it would never be possible, that the world wasn’t ready, that the world wouldn’t give her a chance. This moment. This exact moment, It’s for you.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I’ve been through countless wars making sure that this moment was exactly how I imagined through every obstacle you can think of. Determination helped me get to this moment and those who believed in me made sure that it was as perfect as I knew I could be. Thank you to @davidblond and @phillipeblond for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime, a huge mile stone in my career.⁣💋⁣ ⁣⁣ photo by @alexcruz.nyc

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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 contact.emperifolla@gmail.com or comment below!

Frances Solá-Santiago

Born in Puerto Rico, based in New York City. She is the editor-in-chief on Emperifollá. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, Glamour Magazine, Numéro, Refinery29, Remezcla, and Bustle.

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