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These Latino Fashion Designers Are Putting Culture First In Swimwear

lena_cali / Instagram

As good as it will feel to support any of these Latino-owned swimwear brands, you’ll feel so much better actually wearing their designs. Like always, knowing you’re supporting a Latino entrepreneur feels good, but these designers are putting Latino culture first in their products.

Ranging from birthplaces in Los Angeles to Puerto Rico to Brazil, these brands have their finger on the pulse of Latin culture and are either preserving 1940’s Cuban fashion or setting new trends. You can’t go wrong with these brands.

Viva La Bonita

Digital Image. Viva La Bonita. 3 July 2019.

Based in Los Angeles, every year, Viva La Bonita comes out with a new print for it’s open-backed, one-piece swimsuits, and we’re obsessed. Last year the print read “Allergic to Pendejadas.” We have a feeling this year’s suit will leave you feeling chingona-level bella.

Agua Bendita

@aguabenditasw / Instagram

Born out of their love for design that honors their Colombian heritage, Catalina Álvarez and Mariana Hinestroza have joined design forces to create Agua Bendita. Their brand also features other local artisans to elevate Colombian artistry around the world.

Jessica Milagros Swimwear

@jmilagrosplus / Instagram

Jessica Milagros had spent her career as a plus-size model and was disappointed with the swimwear available. It just wasn’t highlighting the beauty of curvy bodies. So she teamed up with JCPenney to create a line of plus-size, affordable swimwear.

Nicolita Swimwear

@laura.roque.a @brendalonso18 / Instagram

We love that this brand is all about preserving the fashion of 1940’s Cuban swimwear, while using today’s technologies to keep it comfy. Opt for heavy ruffles or a simple I ❤️ Cuba halter.

Del Mar by Berjheny

@delmarswimwear / Instagram

Venezuelan-born designer Berjheny Del Mar grew up in Aruba and knew her expertise was in coexisting with the ocean. Del Mar promotes ethically sourced fashion and says they aid “highly impoverished community of single mothers by providing them with an income, training scheme, stability and property in their communities and donations from the sales to their local charity.”

Yemaya Swimwear

@yemayaswimwear / Instagram

Paraguayan designer Carla Pallares has dedicated her line to the Goddess of the Ocean, Yemaya. The brand is committed to women being able to live care-free in comfort and style—whether it’s standing up on that surfboard or roasting in the sand.

MarAcuyá Swimwear

@maracuyaswimwear / Instagram

Based in Puerto Rico, MarAcuyá uses four-way stretch lycra made in Colombia, printed with their custom designs for a comfortable and stylish way to lay on the beach, surf or yoga. Their 2019 catalog is on sale now–and with so many of the pieces made with reversible fabrics, it’s like a twofer.

Mauna Loa Beachwear

MAUNALOABEACHWEAR / Etsy

Made in Venezuela, this Etsy company is “inspired by the tropical heat of its origin country” and it shows. You must check out designer Andreina Oliver pieces to see how traditional wear has translated into ruffled bikinis and one pieces alike.

Peixoto

@peixotowear / Instagram

Colombian designer Mauricio Esquenazi created Peixoto to honor nostalgia and classic beauty. You’re not going to find a tanga bottom here. For them, it’s all about “mystery, sophistication and elegance, without giving it all away at first glance.”

Luli Fama

@lulifamaswimwear / Instagram

Another Cuban fashion genius, Lourdes “Luli” Hanimian created Luli Fama to honor all of Latin America. Growing up in Miami, Luli wants to honor the bold prints of our culture with contemporary fits. People just don’t understand how so many of her swimsuits are universally flattering, but they are.

Lybethras

@lybethras / Instagram

Luciana “Lu” Martinez founded Lybethras in 2007 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The brand name “Lybethras” means ‘source of muses’ in Latin. By the time Lu started her brand at age 19, she was creating muses left and right. Her goal is to create swimwear for all bodies, and her success is worldwide.

READ: How A Plus-Size Latina Model is Using Social Media to Encourage Women to Be Healthy

Sparking Tequila: It Better Be On The Menu At Your Next Pool Party Or I’m Not Going

Culture

Sparking Tequila: It Better Be On The Menu At Your Next Pool Party Or I’m Not Going

@AzulanoTequila / Twitter

Summer 2019 is officially the summer carbonation took over the hearts and minds of the the adult beverage industry. Natty Light, PBR, Four Loko, and practically any alcohol company with a pulse who can make and bottle boozy seltzer jumped on a train that continues to bubble out of control.

The next phase of the sparkling beverage boom: Sparkling tequila.

LA-based Pure Azul just announced that it will be rolling out Azulana sparkling tequila this week in California, producing the first and only beverage on the market made with 100% blue agave tequila and sparkling soda.

Crafted in Jalisco, Mexico, it comes canned in three flavors: Original (… tequila-flavored sparkling soda), Lime, and Pineapple Rosemary. Azulana sparkling tequila will be released in 12-oz. cans, containing 4.3% ABV with 145 calories.

In other words, the legit perfect drink for summer. You just may want to break out some sal y limon to fully enjoy it. 

The three flavors are each unique and, not gonna lie, sound straight up tasty.

Credit: @AzulanoTequila / Twitter

According to the company’s website, the “Original” flavor goes down smooth with a “lightly sweet” and “slightly tart” taste.

The “Pineapple Rosemary,” meanwhile, boasts a fruity, herbal flavor somewhat reminiscent of flowers, while the “Lime” option is zesty and tropical.

Sparkling tequila is the the latest in a total takeover of the alcoholic beverage industry by sparkly, bubbly bebidas. 

Clearly, Azulana looks to capitalize on two glaring beverage industry trends: The proliferation of sparkling hard seltzer and the continued success of tequila, which Azulana notes “continues to thrive.” In 2017, for example, the US saw an 8.5% increase in tequila liter sales over the previous year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

In a press release, Katie Pittman, Head of Sales and Marketing at Pure Azul notes, “Our goal is to help others understand that tequila isn’t just enjoyed during a wild night out – with Azulana, it can truly be enjoyed during all occasions – anywhere, anytime.”

It’s also good timing – tequila sales are up up up across the US. 

It may not seem like it to those of us who regularly order the Patron or some Cuervo when we having a party, but it’s true. Tequila sales are booming in the US. In 2017, for example, tequila sales were up 8.5% from the year before. 

So if there was ever a time to enter the tequila business – it would be now. Make them coins. 

The grand unveiling was August 22nd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

And, of course, it made its debut at a Rolling Stones concert. Because I guess tequila and Stones go together like…sal y limon? 

But don’t worry if you didn’t make it to that concert. You won’t have to wait long. The sparking tequila beverage will be available at Bristol Farms supermarkets in Southern California from August 28th before expanding to other markets and regions from then. 

While some seemed to at least be open to the idea…

I mean, it all really depends on your feelings towards sparkling drinks to begin with. If you’re already a fan, then sparkling tequila isn’t too much of a stretch. 

Mexicans were openly skeptical.

But let’s note, many on Latino Twitter basically said they were simultaneously fascinated and disgusted by the idea of sparkling tequila.

And a few people pointed out that summer is nearly over. 

But if you have sparking tequila at your house…is summer ever really over? I don’t think so. 

These 20 Latinas In Cosplay Prove We Have Costume Making In Our DNA

Fierce

These 20 Latinas In Cosplay Prove We Have Costume Making In Our DNA

At comic conventions, fans from all over gather to celebrate comics, movies and TV shows. Between their special guest stars and exclusive content, comic conventions are like a wonderland to the millions of devoted fans who visit them. At these cons, the most creative ways to show your fandom some love is to cosplay.

However, you don’t have to wait for a convention to get into the cosplay goodness. Halloween and other small events are a great opportunity to get into character. Here are 20 muses to give you inspo for your next costume.

1. Momo Kurumi Cosplay

@momokurumicosplay / Instagram

Latina artist, seamstress and cosplayer, Momo Kurumi lives by the philosophy that cosplay is for everyone. The award-winning designer has participated in cosplay since 2007 and has done over 100 looks. Most of these costumes are completely self-made. Momo range is incredible; cosplaying anime characters, comic heroines, and Disney princesses. However, it’s her Chel cosplay — the South American native from “The Road To El Dorado” — that is especially giving us life.

2. Nerdtastic Mel

@nerdtasticmel / Instagram

It seems like there isn’t any look that this Afro-Latina cosplayer can’t pull off. A self-proclaimed nerd, Nerdtastic Mel serves looks ranging from adorable Pokémon and beautiful Disney Princesses to a spot on Hermonie Granger and creepy cute Wednesday Adams. Be sure to check out her 90s cartoon looks as well for a shot of nostalgia.

3. Art by Renna

@artbyrenna_ / Instagram

Cosplayer Art by Renna — real name Amanda — is just as comfortable in sexy looks as she is in her sweeter ones. If you catch her at a comic convention, she could be anyone from Mary Jane Watson to Maleficent. However, cosplay isn’t the only place she’s confident. Amanda is also a boudoir and lingerie model.

4. Iced Coffee Mel

@icedcoffeemel / Instagram

Iced Coffee Mel is a Columbian cosplayer practicing her craft in Toronto, Canada. Whether she’s working anime or comic characters, she completely transforms into her roles with impressive authenticity. Check out her quirky Mina Asido, her sultry Black Cat or her amazingly cool Sombra to get a feel of Mel’s versatility.

5. Jennocide Cosplay

Instagram / @jennocide_cosplay

Peruvian-Canadian cosplayer Jennocide is a queen of the head-to-toe look. Besides making sure her costuming is always on point, her attention to prop and accessory fabrication takes her looks to another level. Additionally, Jennocide is a master of makeup. Her Vemon, Gamora and Scar makeups are works of art. If that isn’t enough, her take on Zatanna is more than magical.

6. Moxxi Shenanigans

Instagram / @moxxishenanigans

Cosplayer and costume creator Moxxi Shenanigans’ looks are as diverse as they are creative. If you’re looking for inspo for your video game cosplay or are just curious to see a really impressive Gizmo costume, her Insta is a must-see. Besides well-known characters, she also creates her own — like her “Stars War” inspired Jedi Ariel.

7. Joanna Mari

@joanna.mari / Instagram

New York-based cosplayer Joanna Mari specializes in both Sci-Fi and Fantasy. A skilled prop fabricator, her expertise comes in handy for characters ranging from Wonder Woman to Raven from “Teen Titans.” Her reimaginings of sweet cartoon characters like “Pokémon,” “My Little Pony” and “Carebears” into knights, warriors and mages is a thing of beauty.

8. Stephanie X Moon

@stephaniexmoon_ / Instagram

Chicago cosplayer Stephanie X Moon likes to bring some sex appeal and a healthy dose of horror to her costuming. An alternative model, her pin-up looks reimagine scary movie creators like Chucky and the Bride of Frankenstein. In addition to her spooky styles, she also gets inspiration from comic books; bringing to life characters like Scarlet Witch and Cat Woman.

9. Chicago Princess Sarah

@Chicagoprincesssarah / Instagram

As her name suggests, Chicago Princess Sarah is an Illinois-based cosplayer. A singer and artist, she works with the other talented character actresses at Chicago Princess Parties, a company that provides magical experiences for Disney lovers. Besides looking like a princess, she has to embody that character’s personality and vibe. Sarah has played everyone from Belle to Esmeralda but we’re partial to her Elena of Avalor — Disney’s first Latina princess.

10. Adonia GameGoddess

@gamegoddess4ever1 / Instagram

Cosplayer Adonia GameGoddess is a Puerto Rican jack of all trades. Costume designer, prop maker, gamer and otaku, she brings her passion and talent to her looks. A regular guest at comic conventions around the nation, Adonia is at home whether she’s playing Green Lantern Jessica Cruz or Bunny Bulma from “Dragon Ball Z.”

11. Cin’Von Quinzel

Instagram / @cosplayofcolor

Body positive cosplayer Cin’Von Quinzel is a self-taught costume maker from New York City. The Puerto Rican model and performer isn’t afraid to flaunt her curves in her unique takes on characters like Mercy from “Overwatch” or the Pokémon Vaporeon. As a plus-sized Afro-Latina, Cin’Von represents two marginalized groups in the cosplay community. Still, with looks like her impressive Hela cosplay, there’s no doubt about why she’s made a name for herself.

12. Ivvy Dream

Instagram / @ivvy_dream

Though she calls herself a “cosplayer in training,” Ivvy Dream’s collection of characters is already very impressive. The Puerto Rican and Nicaraguan artist mostly works with inspiration she finds from Japanese anime. You’ll find a Poison Ivy and Elmyra in her reprutoir, but she also seamlessly encapsulates Diane from “The Seven Deadly Sins.”

13. Surely Shirley Cosplay

Instagram / @surelyshirleycosplay

Lover of all things anime and manga, body positive cosplayer Surely Shirley is a crafty member of the cosplay community. Costumes like her take on Amethyst from “Steven Universe” and her Hinata from the “Naturo” series are spot on. However, it’s looks like her Bowsette (a female Bowser) that will really make an impression on you.

14. Ivy Doomkitty

@ivydoomkitty / Instagram

With over 300k Instagram followers, Ivy Doomkitty is one of the most popular Latina cosplayers in the world. Based out of LA, the international model is also a content creator, a pin-up model and an advocate for body positivity. If you check out her previous looks, you’ll find sexy cosplays like her Ms. Marvel and Jessica Rabbit. However, her Bison from “Street Fighter” proves that Ivy has her costuming down, head to toe.

15. Gabi Rupee

@Myladygabriella / Instagram

Atlanta cosplayer and self-proclaimed “anime trash,” Gabi Rupee’s cosplay looks are just as animated as her interests. The Brazilian-American gaming video creator draws on her love for Japanese animation to craft creative looks like her Captain Deku — a mashup of “Captain America” and “My Hero Academia.” As imaginative as that look is, we can’t help feeling that her Faye Valentine of “Cowboy Bebop” fame is positively spot on.

16. Julia Rose

Instagram / @diary_of_a_rose

Whether you love anime, video games or Disney characters, cosplayer Julia Rose has a look for you. Her adaptation of Pajama Party Ariel from “Ralph Breaks The Internet” is too precious for words. Her Princess Serenity from “Sailor Moon” is more than ethereal. Also, Julia’s playful Disneybound looks — like Edna from “The Incredibles” — are just as creative as her full costumes.

17. Phoenix Skye Cosplay

Instagram / @Phoenixskyecosplay

Phoenix Skye is a LGBT Dominicana that embodies that cosplay is for everyone. A body-positive advocate, she documented her substantial weight loss through cosplay. She shows that no matter the size, she could rock her costumes. Check out her Gender-bent Joker for a real taste of her talent but we also can’t get enough of this gorgeous Moana look.

18. Yani Luv

Instagram / @yani.luv

“Teen Titans,” “Space Jam,” “My Hero Academia” and “Steve Universe.” These just a few of the fandoms multi-talented cosplayer Yani Luv has explored. The Afro-Latina Boricua utilizes both self-fabricated props and impressive body painting skills to embody her characters. While Yani cosplays plenty of human characters, we’re partial to her absolutely adorable take on Retsuko from Sanrio’s “Aggretsuko.”

19. Iza Ragnhildr

Instagram / @izunacosplay

Fashion design student Iza Ragnhildr should get extra points for practical application. Whether she’s cosplaying each and every favorite video game protagonist, the Cuban-Mexican artist fully transforms herself. A great example of this is her killer take on steampunk Poison Ivy.

20. Theophania Cosplay

Instagram / @theophania_cosplay

Video games and anime are usually Theophania’s go-to when it comes to cosplay. Besides her cute cosplays, the Houston-based Mexican-Puerto Rican is a part of the Jammingers — a live-action movie about a team of music-based superheroes. Her human Judy Hwa wazopps will also make you want to check out her incredible Disney cosplays.

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