Latine designers are a bright leading force in the fashion industry. From Cami Téllez’s underwear line to Elen Velez’s deconstructed take on femininity, Latine creatives continue to shine. Whether they’re subversive or playful, the following designs form an eclectic collection that is sure to leave a lasting influence in the fashion world. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, here is a list of designers who have taken the industry by storm.
Cami Téllez, Parade
Gone are the days when Victoria Secret was the one-stop shop for underwear. Parade, the indie underwear brand, has transformed the market with colorful, Gen-Z-approved pieces found all over social media. Cami Téllez, the CEO and co-founder of Parade, is rewriting what it means to make underwear, bras and loungewear that are ethically produced and size inclusive. In an interview with Latina Magazine, Téllez recalls her parents immigrating to the United States from their home in Colombia as a key influence in starting her own business. Téllez serves as a creative force in the industry who is guiding the way for more inclusive and consumer-first branding. After all, what’s a good outfit without good underwear?
Adriana Manso, La Manso
Maximalism has taken full control of trend cycles and wardrobes. From ‘90s-inspired pieces to colorful accessories and styles, it seems as though the love for bold statement pieces is here to stay. Everyone by now has seen the star of this trend — chunky acrylic rings with textured pieces — that has taken over Instagram and gained the approval of celebrities such as Dua Lipa and Brittany Xavier. The chic creative behind La Manso jewelry is Barcelona-based designer Adriana Manso, who credits her grandmother’s eclectic acrylic jewelry as inspiration for her brand. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Manso recalls collecting plastics to repurpose from a young age and using them as a medium. Enter the signature La Manso ring. The designer has developed a cult following with her jewelry business, and her personal connection to the brand makes it even more worthwhile to own a piece. In a world where fashion can be ultra-serious, artists such as Manso bring a colorful touch of fun.
Elena Velez, YR002: In Glass
Up-and-coming designer Elena Velez has a keen eye for illustrating femininity and has dressed the likes of Charli XCX and Kali Uchis. The designer, who grew up in Milwaukee but draws upon her Puerto Rican roots, has a deconstructed take on feminine silhouettes, using corsets and sheer fabrics. Her Wisconsin hometown has been key in some of her design work; for instance she collaborates with local artisans on steel and metal materials to use in some of her pieces. Her latest show at New York Fashion Week took inspiration from motherhood, dissociation of the body and the politicization of femininity. Velez’s looks are eclectic and usually muted in color, and the designer imagines female strength in delicate corsetry, strappy BDSM-esque pieces and mangled dresses. Velez’s eye for illustrating feminine silhouettes in a non-traditional way makes her an on-the-rise designer to keep an eye on.
Victor Barragán, Barragán Collections
No one could look away from Victor Barragán’s spring/summer 2023 collection shown at New York Fashion Week. Models strutted down a cement runway littered with trash styled in belts that read “Canceled Twice,” camouflage hoodies and a New York Mets jersey. Through a plethora of non-traditional Americana clothing, Barrgán successfully made a statement: “For me, it was all about whoever, gets it, gets it.” Critics praised the show’s ability to illustrate the realities of American culture in its whiteness, wealth disparity, constant social media overload and dysfunctional nature. Barrgán’s influence goes beyond his recent show, however: The designer first created his brand in Mexico City in 2010 and has since made a name for himself in the fashion world. In 2019, he was nominated for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award, and he has been praised for subverting traditional Hispanic culture with his genderfluid and punk designs.