Culture

This Fashion Designer Is Turning San Marcos Blankets Into Stunning Streetwear

There’s nothing like a family blanket, especially one with a story. Perhaps one your grandma quilted or an old wool blanket your father had when he was in the military. An heirloom blanket provides more than just physical warmth. It reminds us of the fabric of love and care we were born into. It reminds us of home. That’s why fashion designer Brenda Equihua is using the iconic San Marcos blankets to make stellar fashion pieces.

For Latinx people, the value of a San Marcos blanket goes even deeper than just warmth. 

Courtesy of Brenda Equihua

The significance of these thick, velvety cobijas is both familial and cultural. Even though they’ve only been around since the ’70s, they strike deep at the heart of who we are as Mexican Americans.

The blanket itself is more of a kitschy cultural keepsake. According to The Los Angeles Times, the San Marcos blanket was devised by Jesus Rivera Franco of Aguascalientes, Mexico. “His dream was to come up with [a blanket] that would last, that every Mexican would love,” Francisco Rivera told LA Times in 2012.

To say that Latinx people love San Marcos blankets is a huge understatement.

Courtesy of Brenda Equihua

For decades people have bought these blankets in Mexico, on the Tijuana border, and at swap meets across the country for one simple reason: they bring a special kind of comfort only an insider can understand. They’re camp in a way that, if you don’t know about it, you aren’t a member of our tribe.

While the glorified imagery on the blankets — lions, tigers, and, yes, Aztec Gods — brought some teens mortified shame, as time passed, and we matured, the San Marcos cobijas became poignant moments of reflection. These treasured blankets showed us that while we weren’t rich, our parents kept us safe, warm, and nestled in them.

Fashion designer Brenda Equihua wants to embody that very personal feeling that we feel from these cobijas and apply it to her designs.

Courtesy of Brenda Equihua

She has taken the San Marcos nostalgila and created a fashionable shield that epitomizes that Latino pride we hold dear to our hearts. She brilliantly created a fashion line so the new generation of Latinx could fashionably share their heritage every day of the year.

“I reflected on what defined my experiences,” Equihua tells mitu. “That exercise led me to question what a ‘classic’ meant to me. I thought about what imagery and iconic things I want to preserve and manifest into our future.”

Equihua — a SoCal native — thought to transform the beloved San Marcos blanket into badge of honor roughly six months ago.

Courtesy of Brenda Equihua

Now, our tangible childhood memory can be seen as everyday street wear — from hoodies to long coats, and even dresses. The San Marcos aesthetic is back and more vibrant than ever.  

“The cobija idea as a classic happened simultaneously with the idea of a classic as a silhouette,” Brenda says. “The hoodie was a starting place for silhouette because it’s a very democratic piece. It exists in every social class. The aim was to create something that everyone from every background and every social class could identify with.”

Brenda’s fashion company — fittingly named Equihua — launched two years ago, but she tells mitu that her San Marcos-inspired line feels like a “rebirth.”

Courtesy of Brenda Equihua

“The pieces are meant to be expressive, artistic, familiar, loving, and comfortable,” Brenda says. “It was something that had not been done before and a challenge I took very serious.”

But ultimately, with a concept so close to Latinx culture, would non-Latinos be into this fashion style?

Courtesy of Brenda Equihua

“I have a diverse group of people I hang with, so the non-Latinos think the concept and design is fire,” Brenda tells mitu. “For all my Latino fam and friends, it’s a bit more personal and holds more meaning. To them it feels like home, it’s calming and a bit like a mother’s love. In a Latino home the Cobija can be a bit of a neutral because it becomes a constant and familiar part of the interior. What I did was take it out of that environment and give it a new context. It’s definitely a conversational piece. There is some real excitement that also happens outside of that inner circle. I’ve had strangers come up to me from across a restaurant and ask, ‘is that what I think it is?’ as their eyes light up.”


READ: Juan Gabriel Is The Inspiration For This Honduran’s Latest Fashion Collection And It’s Magical

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3 Sites That Have Super-Fast Shipping For Your Last-Minute Mother’s Day Buys

Fierce

3 Sites That Have Super-Fast Shipping For Your Last-Minute Mother’s Day Buys

Listen, we get it. These days are hectic, crazy and very nearly apocalyptic. Whether you’re juggling your work from home routine or dealing with your kids, finding the perfect Mother’s Day Gift might be harder this year than most.

When it comes to this, know that we’ve got your back and understand that procrastination happens. To help we put together the top three Mother’s Day gifts that’ll help you navigate fast-shipping.

Check them out below.

Etsy

Etsy now allows an option that will allow you to search results by delivery date ensuring one-of-a-kind options that will arrive just in time for Mother’s Day. From handmade sweaters, specialty baskets soaps, candles, and embroidered pillows you’ll be able to find it all.

Amazon.com

No doubt for the extreme procrastinator Amazon guarantees on-time shipping for just about everyone. While Prime members are more likely to strike shipping gold with orders from the site, shoppers who’ve yet to subscribe to the premiere membership will likely not be disappointed in last-minute shipping fees.

Start off with Amazon Handmade and their Mother’s Day gift guide.

Nordstrom

Nordstrom now offers all sorts of quick delivery options. From their expedited shipping and pick-up in store to curbside pickup, the big box retailer options all sorts of Mother’s Day goods for the last-minute shopper!

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Maluma Teams Up With Luxury Brand Balmain For This Must-Have Fashion Collection

Entertainment

Maluma Teams Up With Luxury Brand Balmain For This Must-Have Fashion Collection

It’s 2021 and we have no shortage of epic collaborations between some of the world’s biggest Latino stars and top fashion brands. Everyone from J Balvin and Bad Bunny to Cardi B and now Maluma have entered the fashion industry to sell a lifestyle. And people are buying!

Maluma and French fashion house Balmain bring us a limited-edition collaboration.

Colombian superstar Maluma has partnered with French fashion house Balmain to launch a limited edition collection that will be available from April 12 through June 1 in all Balmain stores, including brick and mortar and online.

The collection, which includes sneakers, blazers, t-shirts, pants and other ready-to-wear clothing, will also be available at Saks Fifth Avenue as of April 15.

The Balmain + Maluma line marks the first time ever the brand has designed a line with a celebrity. And it seems like the brand’s creative designer is pretty excited about the collab. Through photos on his Instagram, Olivier Rousteing referred to the reggaetón singer as his inspiration, captioned with supportive laudatory messages about merging their cultures and joint design process.

“Maluma, more than him being an incredible singer,” Rousteing notes, “[brings] a lot to the fashion community with his joy and his happiness and the fact that he’s always playing up his style from different kinds of houses from around the world, mixing different cultures as well… I think the collaboration with Maluma is obviously giving to Balmain and pushing the aesthetic more internationally.”

Maluma also seems to be pumped for the opportunity!

Although Balmain has featured other celebrities in advertising campaigns and runway shows, it has never actually enlisted a celebrity to help design a full, name-branded line.

The brand’s high profile, along with the haute-couture retail price of the collection, underscores how entrenched Maluma is now in the global fashion world and how valuable his endorsement and name is perceived by high fashion.

“It’s been one of my goals to work with a respected fashion house on a collection, but this journey was more exciting, as Olivier pushed me to design with him and sketch looks that I personally will wear off the stage and showcase high couture with a bit of Papi Juancho,” says Maluma, referencing both his album name and alter ego.

But if you want a piece of the collection be prepared to drop those coins.

Credit: Phraa / Balmain

Items in the Balmain + Maluma collection range from a black cotton T-shirt that retails for $495, to $1,500 high top sneakers to a $2,555 multi-color print bomber jacket.

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