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These Latino Fashion Designers Are Putting Culture First In Swimwear

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

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Rihanna Hilariously Took A Jab At Trump While Taking Out The Trash On Inauguration Day— ‘I’m just here to help’

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Rihanna Hilariously Took A Jab At Trump While Taking Out The Trash On Inauguration Day— ‘I’m just here to help’

Tim P. Whitby / Getty

Rihanna just proved that she’s capable of just about anything. Last week, the class act proved that she can class up even the trashiest of things. While on a walk to the curb with bags of trash the singer rocked diamonds and a pair of satin pink peep-toe heels and gloves in a pointed jab at former President Trump. 

She might be a star but Rihanna isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes to taking out the trash on behalf of President Joe Biden.

Last Wednesday, the singer and fashion designer celebrated Biden’s inauguration and Trump’s exit with a silly post on her Instagram page. Dressed in stilettos, the “Love On The Brain” singer carried two bags of garbage out to the curb with a caption that read “I’m just here to help #WeDidItJoe.”

The comment was a clear nod to Vice President Kamala Harris and President Biden’s historic win and their ultimate swearing-in last week.

Dressed in a vintage tee-shirt reading ‘End Racism By Any Means Necessary’ Rihanna threw some shade and the trash away. 

Continuing to throw shade in the caption, Rihanna added: ‘I’m just here to help.’ The singer has proven herself to be an ultimate fan of the Biden-Harris ticket. Last year when they won the election she tweeted about their win writing “The faces of history makers, boundary breakers, and WINNERS!!CONGRATULATIONS to you both, and mostly to the American people!! So much work to do, so much hurt to undo! Let’s GO! I’m so proud of you America!”

Fortunately, it looks like Rihanna is showing no signs of slowing down her celebrations this year.

On Sunday, the Savage x Fenty owner shared a video of herself dancing in a hotel room while sporting some of her own line’s lingerie.

After doing some twerks and showing off a Savage x Fenty dotted mesh skirt, and a set of matching gloves, RiRi gave fans a fun Valentine’s Day champagne toast.

“Cupid could NEVA!” she captioned her post. “#ValentinesDayCountdown.”

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Another International Brand Has Been Accused Of Copying Indigenous Mexican Designs

Entertainment

Another International Brand Has Been Accused Of Copying Indigenous Mexican Designs

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

Although it comes as no surprise, it’s still as frustrating as ever that an international fashion brand has ripped off traditional designs of Indigenous cultures. This time, it’s an Australian label that appears to have copied the designs of Mexico’s Mazatec community.

Although the company has already pulled the allegedly copied dress, the damage appears to have been done as many are rightfully outraged at their blatant plagiarism.

Australia’s Zimmermann brand has been accused of copying designs from Mexico’s Indigenous community.

Mazatec people from the Mexican state of Oaxaca have expressed their outrage over yet another attack on their traditions. They claim that an Australian company – Zimmermann – has copied a Mazatec huipil design to make its own tunic dress. The dress, which was part of the company’s 2021 Resort collection and retailed for USD $850, has since been pulled from the company’s website due to the criticism.

Zimmermann is an Australian fashion house that has stores across the U.S., England, France, and Italy. While the huipil is a loose-fitting tunic commonly worn by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous women across Mexico.

It’s hard to argue that the brand didn’t deliberately copy the Oaxacan design.

Credit: Francoise CAVAZZANA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

When you look at the Zimmermann tunic dress alongside a traditional huipil, it’s hard not to see the resemblance. The cut of the Zimmermann dress, the birds and flowers embroidered on it and its colors all resemble a traditional Mazatec huipil. 

Changes made to the original design – the Zimmermann dress sits above the knees and unlike a huipil is not intended to be worn with pants or a skirt – are disrespectful of the Mazatac culture and world view.

The Oaxaca Institute of Crafts also condemned Zimmermann and called on the brand to clarify the origin of its design.

For their part, Zimmermann has pulled the dress and issued an apology.

Zimmermann subsequently issued a statement on social media, acknowledging that the tunic dress was inspired by huipiles from Oaxaca

“Zimmermann acknowledges that the paneled tunic dress from our current Swim collection was inspired by what we now understand to be a traditional garment from the Oaxaca region in Mexico,” it said.

“We apologize for the usage without appropriate credit to the cultural owners of this form of dress and for the offense this has caused. Although the error was unintentional, when it was brought to our attention today, the item was immediately withdrawn from all Zimmermann stores and our website. We have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again in future.”

However, it’s far from the first time that an international brand has profited off of Indigenous designs.

Unfortunately, international fashion companies ripping off traditional garments and designs – especially those of Indigenous cultures – is far too common. Several major companies have been accused of plagiarism within the last year.

In fact, the problem has become so widespread that Mexico created a government task force to help find and denounce similar plagiarism in the future. Among the other designers/brands that have been denounced for the practice are Isabel Marant, Carolina Herrera, Mango and Pippa Holt.

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