Entertainment

‘Project Runway’ Contestant Alan Gonzalez Is A DACA Beneficiary Fighting To Be America’s Next Best Fashion Designer

Project Runway debuted it’s 18th season this past week. The fashion reality show, looked quite different this year with the departure of longtime host Heidi Klum and beloved mentor Tim Gunn. In fact, only judge Nina Garcia remained of the reality competition show’s original staples. Supermodel Karlie Kloss filled Klum’s high heels, while former “Project Runway” champion and current fashion powerhouse Christian Siriano took up Gunn’s helm as a mentor to the designers. One of the contestants is Alan Gonzalez, a Mexican-American fashion designer from Houston, Texas who is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient.

Houston might be getting another “Project Runway” winner this season.

It’s been 15 years since a Houstonian stole the spotlight at “Project Runway.” Texas-native Chloe Dao won top honors in season 2 of the fashion show, way back in 2004. Now another Houstonian is following in her footsteps. 

Alan Gonzalez is one of the 16 contestants who is hoping to take home the top designer prize. 

The 25-year-old designer got off to a rocky start as the judges dissed his work. However, he did get a lot of air time to show his ability and fast quip, and we’re ready to become his fans. 

Born in Mexico and raised in Texas, Gonzales represents so many Latinos living in the U.S.

Gonzalez was born in Mexico and immigrated to Houston from the northern city of Monterrey when he was only 3 years old. He was 15 when his father was deported, leaving his mother a single parent of two alone in Houston. In high school, he started to develop an interest in fashion, and he designed his best friend’s prom dress.

Gonzalez decided to pursue his love of fashion and make a career of it.

Gonzalez entered the fashion design program at Houston Community College in 2012 and after graduation, he launched a label called Alantude. “So much attitude, it’s Alantude,” reads his Instagram bio. His line is inspired by strong women with the most inspiration coming from his mother, the strongest woman he knows. Alantude is a mix of clean lines and pops of color, just enough to draw the right amount of attention to his customer. His ultimate goal is to become a household name and to empower women everywhere. Here’s a fun fact, his hometown has officially proclaimed Nov. 7, “Alan Gonzalez Day.”

Not only is there one, but there are two Latino designers participating in “Project Runway” this season. 

‘Celestino’ Sergio Guadarrama, a 36-year-old designer from Austin, Texas is another Texan in the running for the best fashion designer. His designs are ethereal, celestial; a place in fashion where regal grandeur intersects with modern sophistication, his very own name ‘Celestino’ fits his celestial clothes very aptly.

Sergio “CELESTINO” Guadarrama is one half of the duo behind the label. 

Celestino and Kade Johnson together, create the world of CELESTINO with precisely crafted, eco-conscious and fashion-forward women’s and men’s collections. Sergio and Kade pride themselves in using their creations to convey messages that inspire others to take a stand for social causes. They embrace the culture of the LGBTQ+ community and aspire to be positive role models within the fashion industry. They make a conscious effort as a company to be inclusive to all individuals regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, and donate time and a portion of their profits to humanitarian organizations.

Celestino Couture’s designs are so show-stopping, they’re already recognized in the couture scene. 

Just this year, Broadway star Billy Porter wore custom Celestino to the Tony Awards. The “Pose” star’s custom red velvet look, created by Celestino Couture, was described by the designer as a “gender-fluid evening suit.” It shimmered with over 30,000 Swarovski crystals. It had another layer of significance as well since it was made from a salvaged curtain backdrop from the Broadway production of “Kinky Boots,” for which Porter won the 2013 Tony for best actor in a musical.

Sergio Guadarrama and Alan Gonzalez are both gifted Mexican-American visionaries, and their stories represents many of us. 

Our cultures transcend current borders, and to see Latinos make space for themselves in an industry that lacks diversity and representation makes us beyond proud.

READ: This Latina’s Abuelita Encouraged Her to Compete on ‘Project Runway’ and She Won

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

Things That Matter

Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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Fans Think This Photo Of Barbie Is Proof She’s An Out And Proud Lesbian

Entertainment

Fans Think This Photo Of Barbie Is Proof She’s An Out And Proud Lesbian

Mattel/ Instagram

The fact that the early days of Barbie were not quite so inclusive to all of us comes as no surprise. The blonde, impossibly figured doll with a penchant for similar-looking friends is a far cry away from the Barbie of today who has friends of all shapes, races, sizes, sexual identities, and abilities. Even better, today’s Barbie crew includes dolls who give queer children a broader playgound for their imagination.

Recently, Barbie has added a new addition to her friend group whose bringing more power to her LGTBQ fans.

Social media has dubbed the LGBTQ positive Aimee Song doll Barbie‘s girlfriend.

Twitter’s latest excitement is about a theory that Barbie and Aimee Song are dating. Photos of Mattel’s doll Aimee Song doll show her wearing a “Love Wins” T-shirt that supports LGBTQ+ rights. The Mattel doll was inspired by fashion blogger Aimee Song and recently caught renewed attention in a viral post shared to Twitter.

The “Love Wins” photos are only now going viral but were actually released in November 2017.

The photos of Barbie and the Aimee doll were shared to Twitter last Monday by user @kissevermore and now has Twitter debating whether the two are dating.

The pictures of Barbie and Aimee show the two dolls eating avocado toast. petting a dog, and smiling at each other. The images have fans questioning when Barbie came out and how she managed to nail a hot girlfriend before they did.

Even REAL Aimee Song weighed in on the images to confirm the relationship.

“I am the girlfriend,” she tweeted with a photo of herself and the Aimee Song doll. 

While Mattel has yet to officially identify Barbie as a lesbian, the original Instagram posts related to the Love Wins Barbies are proof that she is at least an ally.

Confirmed or not, true or not, one of the best parts of Barbie is that she is meant to be whoever her fans want her to be.

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