Editor’s Letter: Adiós al 2020

Right at the end of Bad Bunny’s latest album “El Último Tour Del Mundo,” Walter Mercado spews his famous phrase, “Y que reciban de mi siempre paz– mucha paz– pero sobre todo mucho mucho, amor.” I can’t help but smile and cry at the same time when I listen to it. “Antes que se acabe tó’ esto,” continues el Conejo, “voy a vivir mi vida, así me muero contento.” 

Death, grief, and loss encompass the story of 2020. Even before the coronavirus pandemic was declared, fires raged in Australia, earthquakes trembled in Puerto Rico, and the 45th president of the United States threatened a war with Iran. By mid-March, the world we once knew completely changed. In fact, it was ending. 

At Emperifollá, we quickly went back to the drawing board to rethink our role in the new reality. Why write and report on fashion, beauty, and culture when the world around us crumbled into a health, economic, and political crisis? The thing is that fashion, beauty, and culture are inherently political. These fields do not exist in a vacuum, but rather intersect on a daily basis with the human experience. 

Photos by Maridelis Morales Rosado, Stephanie Stoddard Cortés, and Frances Solá-Santiago.

Amid the highs and lows of 2020, we tried to encompass the beauty and struggles of Latinx communities, even as we kept meeting virtually and have yet to share a team hug in person since March. We covered major pop culture moments like the comeback of “La Montra“ Rita Indiana and the release of Netflix’s Gentefied. We explored the complexity of Latinx identities through subjects like Muslim influencer Maria Alia, Swedish-born Babba C. Rivera, ballet dancer Helga París-Morales, and queer activist Samuel Olivares

In our December issue, we hope to highlight and explore the role of Latinxs in 2020. We’ll be covering issues like the fight against forced maternities in Latin America and the power of Latinxs in the United States election. Our issue will also explore the rise of two fashion items amid the pandemic– the face mask and the Crocs–, examining how human behavior drives trends and utilitarianism. 

Our profile– coming later this month– will highlight the role of Latinx healthcare workers in our current pandemic. At a time when taking care of others becomes their sole purpose, it’s also important to examine how their own self-care routines and approach to style have kept them afloat this year. While some have found solace in doing their makeup underneath their masks, others simply cannot afford to do so as they navigate the complicated, grueling work of hospital work. The dualities of their realities are an essential object of study as we continue to understand and celebrate the importance of healthcare workers– beyond 2020. 

The Latinx communities worldwide have been hit hard by this pandemic– physically, emotionally, and economically– posing real threats to our survival. Yet, aquí estamos. 

I cannot thank our readers, collaborators, friends, and families enough for all your continued support as we’ve navigated this unprecedented time, trying to grow our platform, serve our communities, and take care of ourselves. 

Adiós, 2020. Hasta nunca.

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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