From Decking Out ‘Euphoria’ Stars to the Cast of ‘And Just Like That,’ These Are the Latinx Fashion Designers Behind Some of TV’s Most Iconic Looks
While we won’t admit just how many times we’ve chosen a night with Netflix and a bowl of cornflakes, milk, and bananas over a night out, let’s just say it’s a lot. So it makes us even happier to know how the Latinx community is making a serious impact on all things TV — particularly the fashion.
Whether or not you tune into shows to get a glimpse of amazing outfits, you’ve probably noticed the incredible designs featured on shows like “Euphoria,” and might have always lived for all of Carrie’s outfits on “Sex and the City” (Dior newspaper dress anyone?!).
Clothing is a focal element of both films and TV, often used as an artistic medium to convey a message, and we’re beaming with pride at how many Latinx fashion and costume designers are involved with the biggest series at the moment. Ahead, find the designers from nuestra comunidad that are changing the game as we know it.
1. Aidan Euán — “Euphoria”
HBO’s “Euphoria” is arguably the most talked-about show on TV right now, leaving people equally intrigued and very stressed out at its portrayal of the current high school experience — filled with nail-biting drama (that bathtub scene!) and troubling drug addiction.
Another facet of the show few are likely to miss? The incredible fashion. While tons of hilarious memes like this Bad Bunny one have been created to poke fun at just how extra and outlandish the “Euphoria” high school’s outfits are, we love them — and we want all of them.
As explained by Cortes, AKNA was named after the Mayan goddess for motherhood and birthing. Euán has designed tons of looks for stars like Miley Cyrus and queen Kali Uchis, but his beginnings were humble. Euán grew up in a low-income household, without being able to pay for fashion school. He started by making clothing for his mother.
His wife helped him rise to prominence through Instagram photoshoots, and after that epic “Euphoria” cutout dress, the AKNA website saw a 900% increase in visitors (the dress is currently sold out). As for his inspiration, he explained to The Fader: “it’s the spirit of a confident Latina. It’s a strong Mexican woman that I visualize.”
2. Salvador Perez and Glinda Suarez — “The Sex Lives of College Girls”
Meanwhile, HBO Max’s “The Sex Lives of College Girls” is another streaming show that’s making waves at the moment, created by powerhouse Mindy Kaling.
The show centers on four freshmen roommates, showing how they all navigate newfound-university life, and their sexuality. It’s raw, realistic, a celebration of friendship and youth, and the fashion finds the perfect line between down-to-earth and imaginative.
As Perez explained in a video created as a behind-the-scenes feature for “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” “a costume designer is a storyteller first.”
He went to design school thinking he would be a fashion designer, but quickly moved to costume design — and is the president of the Costume Designers Guild. Growing up in Central California, Perez went on to run costume workrooms for movies like “Titanic,” and designed costumes for other hit shows like “Veronica Mars.” He is also passionate about representation, saying, “as people of color in this industry we need to open these doors to others.”
Meanwhile, Suarez is just as inspiring, describing a similar story about initially wanting to be a fashion designer but soon realizing her passion was truly on-screen costume designing.
In the video, she explains how Perez has been a “great mentor” to her, and how she grew up near a strawberry field. “I didn’t know anybody in the entertainment industry.” And she’s all about giving back and offering advice to other Latinos looking to make it: “it’s important to see that in front of the camera, behind the scenes… just to inspire some little brown girls just like me on this show.”
3. Wilberth Gonzalez — “RuPaul’s Drag Race”
Many of us can agree that “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will always be one of the best shows on TV, filled with the most fabulous drag queens battling it out for the prize — and being extremely fierce and all-around powerful in the process.
RuPaul will always be goals, especially with all those unbelievable makeup and hair looks, and the contestants are always sure to bring it with their larger-than-life wigs, glittery makeup, and themed costumes that serve up angel wings, superheroes, villains, and even Little Bo Peep. While each of the contestants have different ways of creating their costumes, designer Wilberth Gonzalez recently collaborated on the show — and we’re drooling at his creation.
Gonzalez is a Latinx design superstar who has worked on productions like “Ru Paul’s Drag Race,” “Ocean’s 8,” “Hustlers,” and the upcoming “Moon Knight” on Disney+. He specializes in both design and hand-painting pieces, and his work has traversed TV, film, and Broadway productions like “Moulin Rouge.”
He has his own shop Wilberth Wear, and we’ll never quite get over his hand-painted leotard, leather jacket, hat, and purse worn by Kandy Muse and Gottmik on season 13 of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.” Fiery perfection!
4. Danny Santiago – “Sex and the City” and “And Just Like That”
Miami-born and raised Danny Santiago is one of the most important figures in all things style today. Santiago worked on the costume design for the movies “Sex and the City” and “Sex and the City 2,” and can currently be found creating the fashionscape for “And Just Like That.”
Born to a Mexican mother and a Puerto Rican father, Santiago has spoken about initially getting into fashion through shopping at vintage stores and putting together outfits to go out to parties with friends. After being offered chance styling gigs, Santiago could soon be found contributing to magazines like Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar, serving as fashion director of Ocean Drive Magazine, and styling celebrities like J.Lo, Shakira, Penelope Cruz and our-favorite-Benito Bad Bunny.
While Santiago also styled for shows like “Burn Notice,” “Graceland,” and “Ballers,” as of late, “Sex and the City” reboot “And Just Like That” seems to be his pride and joy.
He regularly posts his favorite featured outfits on his Instagram account, such as this epic rainbow-tutu explosion, while also sharing all his celeb styling experiences. The legendary stylist and costume designer told Journey of a Braid that the best part of his day is being “creative” above all else and being able to “come up with ideas [that] people actually appreciate” and express himself in that way.
When it comes to advice for others starting out, he said, “it’s all about the passion… if you’ve got the passion inside of you and you see something that you want to do, I think you have to go for it. Sometimes you have to knock down some walls, but don’t lose your sight of what your passion is.” He explained, “if you love something, no matter what, and if you feel nobody else understands it… they will.”
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