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. 

CREDIT: 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.

CREDIT: 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.

CREDIT: 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.

CREDIT: 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.”

CREDIT: 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?

CREDIT: 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

Would you wear these fashions? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

These $1,200 Gucci Jeans Are Designed With Grass Stains Around The Knees And Are Not Worth The Joke

Fierce

These $1,200 Gucci Jeans Are Designed With Grass Stains Around The Knees And Are Not Worth The Joke

Gucci / Twitter

In these tough times, Gucci’s latest line proves that you might be able to get a fortune out of the jeans you use as workwear in the yard. The upscale label recently launched a new line of jeans and overalls featuring a grass stain effect on their knees. But these are not your father’s cutting the lawn jeans.

The oversized pants retail for a cool $1,400 and feature large pockets and side buttons…

Users on Twitter were quick to question whether or not the new jeans were a joke by Gucci or a reflection of just how tone-deaf the high-end label is.

“How did it take so long for this to become a thing? My entire wardrobe just became more valuable!” one user tweeted in response. A second user commented, “Yeah not a Good Look!!! Wouldn’t buy those Jeans at the Thrift Store for a Dollar!!!”

It wasn’t long ago that the designer brand received criticism for selling warn-in sneakers that were “treated for an all-over distressed effect.”

The kicks were valued at $870. The brand’s description of the shoe design boasted that it was inspired by “vintage” 70s styles.

“The Screener sneakers — named for the defensive sports move — feature the Web stripe on the side and vintage Gucci logo, treated for an allover distressed effect,” the website explained.

Takeaway? Money sure can’t buy good taste.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Vanessa Romo Marks The Cover Of Vogue México In A History-Making Feature

Fierce

Vanessa Romo Marks The Cover Of Vogue México In A History-Making Feature

vanesssaromo / Instagram

Vogue México knows a good trend when it comes to the fashion world. Their recent decision to feature model Vanessa Romo on the cover of their September issue proves that they also know a classic too. Speaking with Vogue México the model opened up about her career, challenges, and experiences that have allowed her to position herself as one of the modeling world’s most prominent figures.

The model with Mexican roots started out her career by modeling on small projects then moved up to uploading images to Instagram and eventually became discovered by Forever 21. Soon after, the North American fast-fashion brand offered Romo a collaboration and she was ultimately signed to an agent.

Now she’s Vogue México’s September model.

In her interview with Vogue, Romo says that the first time she saw plus-size models on a runway, her view of the fashion industry completely shifted.

Seeing women with bodies just like hers, made Romo feel represented in a way that was beautiful and confident. Speaking to Vogue México, Romo explains that she struggled her first two years as a model because she was still in college at University of California, Santa Bárbara. Because of her Latin roots, Romo studied Chicano Studies and Spanish. Her interest led her to continue to explore her identity and Romo decided to audition for Nuestra Belleza Latina on Univision in 2018.

Romo told Vogue that she decided to take part in the competition because she knew there was a need for this representation in the Latino community. When she finished the contest, she realized that she needed to continue breaking expectations for models.

“With this new inspiration, she decided to learn to love her body. Modeling and fashion were for her a way of exploring her own confidence and growing her,” Vogue México revealed. “The power of modeling captivated her so much that it was then that she realized that she herself wanted to be part of the change. Just as she needed empowerment, she knew that there were so many girls and women who needed it equally.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com