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Jessica Alba And Valentina Are Some Of The Opening Ceremony’s ‘Year Of Mexico’ Faces

In the heart of the SoHo district of Manhattan, there’s a very unique store that stands out among the rest. It’s a shop called Opening Ceremony that was founded in 2002 by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, two friends that met while students at UC Berkeley. The store can be compared to that one cool person in high school that had the best style, but you could never quite place where they actually shopped. Opening Ceremony is that place. The store combines a curated collection from Lim and Leon that takes clothes from the very best designers in the world, and emerging ones too, and sells it all under one roof. They’re also the creative directors of KENZO. All of this is to say, Opening Ceremony is the bomb, and here’s their latest inspiring campaign. 

In June, Opening Ceremony announced they’d pay tribute to Mexico and its people by featuring campaign entirely dedicated to the country, and they’re calling it, “The Year of Mexico.”

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

“Throughout our lives, and particularly through our Year of Mexico project, we have been privileged enough to witness the breadth of talent and soul that emanates from the Mexican community. In our current political climate, and at a most crucial time to celebrate diversity on both our home front and abroad, we decided to bring together friends new and old who pioneer conversation in the global cultural dialogue,” Leon stated on their website. 

A critical aspect of this campaign is that it shows how non-Latino creatives can be inspired by Latin culture without appropriating from it.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

Opening Ceremony is not taking designs from Latino designers. They are not featuring non-Latino models to wear Mexican brands. Everything about this campaign begins and starts with Mexican people, even down to the photographer. In this case, every image was shot by acclaimed photographer Stefan Ruiz. Opening Ceremony is also partnering with the nonprofit group Fondos Semillas — the largest fund in Mexico dedicated to supporting women’s causes and working closely with women-led grassroots groups with the goal of improving the living conditions of local communities and promoting gender equality.”

Now let’s take a look at some of their beautiful models.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

The campaign is perfectly titled “The Familia: A Portrait Series,” and it features “inspiring and influential figures in the Mexican creative community,” Opening Ceremony posted on Instagram. “The series, shot in Los Angeles and New York, captures a cast of established and emerging individuals – artists, actors, chefs, designers, musicians, photographers, entrepreneurs, multi-hyphenates – that exemplify the power of Mexican creativity today.” 

The campaign features a slew of influential Mexican and Mexican-American creatives, including chef Daniela Soto-Innes.

 Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

Soto-Innes gained worldwide recognition when she was named World’s Best Female Chef by the World’s 50 Best Restaurant.

Drag star Valentina.

 Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

Valentina may have made her name as a cast member on the reality TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” but her influence is an undeniable sensation that can be seen and heard everywhere. 

There’s also Jessica Alba.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

The longtime Latina actress who doesn’t typically talk about her Mexican roots seems to be coming around. She stated on Instagram that she’s an “entrepreneur (forever), entertainer (sometimes), loyal friend (always), serious cuddler, terrible speller, self-taught, truth-seeking, boundary-pushing, outlier-oriented, future-facing, detail-obsessed, tequila-loving, Mexican-American, So-Cal native and chingona for real.” Okay, girl!

L.A.-based artist Rafa Esparza.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

About his creative process, Esparza says, “I work with land when I make things, many times adobe bricks used to construct brown architectures that confront white spaces and their legacy of white supremacy,” he explained on Instagram. About his new artwork, he said he is diving into “(I’m)migration and the hundreds of concentration camps and detention centers profiting off of the inhumane, daily hauling of migrants throughout the country.”

The campaign also features Cassie, among many others.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

Cassie has had a pretty phenomenal year. Not only did she break up with P Diddy after more than a decade, but she’s now engaged to her new beau and expecting her first baby. 

“My current project is becoming a mother, and I can’t wait to experience the transformation that comes through motherhood, especially in creating new music and visuals. I’m an artist at heart,” she said on IG. “Like every woman, I’ve gone through many significant transitions in life that have taught me so much about myself and the woman that I want to become. I’m focused on becoming.”

We also love seeing the designs of Equihua for sale at Opening Ceremony.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

As you may recall, we interviewed fashion designer Brenda Equihua last year because we fell in love with her San Marcos-inspired jackets and coats. This year she’s also selling San Marcos-inspired hoop earings, scrunchies, shoes, and much more. 

We just love that Opening Ceremony is shining the line on talented Mexicanos who’s work should be exposed to the world. 

Click here to see more.

READ: This Fashion Designer Is Turning San Marcos Blankets Into Stunning Streetwear

The Steelers Will Have Their International Game This Year, And They Want To Play In Mexico For Their Fans

Entertainment

The Steelers Will Have Their International Game This Year, And They Want To Play In Mexico For Their Fans

steelers / Instagram

It’s official, the Steelers will have their international game this year, but the place is not yet confirmed. Previous exhibition games were held in Montreal, Barcelona, London, and Tokyo. It’s been years since the team competed directly south of the border. And since Mexico is the home to one of largest fan bases of the Pittsburgh Steelers, they want to play their international game against the Jacksonville Jaguars south of the border

This time, the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking forward to playing in Mexico. 

The Steelers are happy to play an international game, but they have a clear preference for where that game would be. The president of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Art Rooney, said, “We continue to raise our hand and say we’re interested in playing a game in Mexico.”  

The Steelers are expected to have an international game this year like they have in previous years.

One of them is their match against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Meanwhile, it has been rumored that the Jaguars will have a game in London sometime this year.

People are already showing their excitement on social media because who doesn’t want to see the Steelers playing in Mexico.

“I need the best seat for the event of the year” tweeted one user. “I’ll sell my soul to be there,” wrote another die-hard fan. 

Mexico is home to a large portion of the Steeler Nation.

Steeler Nation, as their fans call themselves, proudly wear black and gold in Mexico. Fernando Camacho, a Mexican fan shared this saying in Spanish in an interview with ‘Behind the Steel curtain’, “Mi Corazon y mi alma son Amarillo y negro pero mi pasion y mi orgullo son de acero.” (My heart and soul are Black and Gold, but my passion and pride are made of steel.)

So naturally, the team’s first choice for an international game is to play in Mexico.

Rooney added during an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that, “They have to work out the logistics and all the pieces of the puzzle to have a game down there. Our first choice would be to play a game in Mexico if we have an international trip.” 

The Steelers have a history with Mexico that runs deep.

The Steelers played the Vikings in London in 2013, but have a longer history with Mexico. They played an exhibition game there in 2000, and have conducted clinics there in the past to try to drum up interest. They’ve also played in exhibition games in Toronto, Montreal, Barcelona, Tokyo, and Dublin. Rooney said that they prefer to have it in Mexico where they have a large number of fans. Mexico is also a neutral ground for both teams. 

READ: Alejandro Villanueva’s Jersey Is Top Seller After He Was Only Steelers Player To Stand During National Anthem

Does Anybody Really Know What’s Supposed To Happen After You Get The Baby Jesus Figurine In La Rosca De Reyes?

Culture

Does Anybody Really Know What’s Supposed To Happen After You Get The Baby Jesus Figurine In La Rosca De Reyes?

alejandro.munoz.p / Instagram

Remember Día de Reyes when everyone cuts the rosca and hopes to god not to get the little niño Jesus? If you grew up Mexican, you probably know that whoever gets the baby Jesus figurine owes everyone tamales. But when is the tamal party? And most importantly—why? Keep reading to find out what El Día de la Candelaria means, what your abuelitas and tías are actually celebrating and how it originated —spoiler alert: it’s colonization.

February 2nd may be Groundhog Day in the United States, but in Mexico, and for many Latinos outside of Mexico, there is a completely different celebration on this date.

The religious holiday is known as Día de la Candelaria (or Candlemas in English). And on this day of the year, people get together with family and friends to eat tamales, as a continuation of the festivities of Three Kings’ Day on January 6. 

This is why your abuelita dresses up her niño Jesús in extravagant outfits.

For Día de la Candelaria it’s customary for celebrants to dress up figures of the Christ Child in special outfits and take them to the church to be blessed. Día de la Candelaria is traditionally a religious and family celebration, but in some places, such as Tlacotalpan, in the state of Veracruz, it is a major fiesta with fairs and parades.

February 2nd is exactly forty days after Christmas and is celebrated by the Catholic church as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin.

Alternatively, this day also counts as the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. The origin of this religious feast day comes from ancient Jewish tradition. According to Jewish law, a woman was considered unclean for 40 days after giving birth, and it was customary to bring a baby to the temple after that period of time had passed. So the idea is that Mary and Joseph would have taken Jesus to the temple to be blessed on February second, forty days after his birth on December 25.

The tradition goes back to around the 11th Century in Europe.

People typically took candles to the church to be blessed as part of the celebration. This tradition was based on the biblical passage of Luke 2:22-39 which recounts how when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple, a particularly devout man named Simeon embraced the child and prayed the Canticle of Simeon: “Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” The reference to the light inspired the celebration of the blessing of the candles.

In Mexico Día de la Candelaria is a follow-up to the festivities of Three Kings Day on January 6th.

On Día De Reyes, when children receive gifts, families and friends gather together to eat Rosca de Reyes, a special sweet bread with figurines of a baby (representing the Child Jesus) hidden inside. The person (or people) who received the figurines on Three Kings Day are supposed to host the party on Candlemas Day. Tamales are the food of choice.

This tradition also carries Pre-Hispanic roots.

After the Spanish conquistadors introduced the Catholic religion and masked indigenous traditions with their own, to help spread evangelization, many villagers picked up the tradition of taking their corn to the church in order to get their crops blessed after planting their seeds for the new agricultural cycle that was starting. They did this on February 2, which was the eleventh day of the first month on the Aztec calendar —which coincidentally fell on the same day as the Candelaria celebration. It’s believed that this is why, to this day, the celebratory feast on February 2 is all corn-based —atole and tamales.

This date is special for other reasons too… 

February 2, marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, which aligns with the pagan holiday of Imbolc. Since ancient times, this date was thought to be a marker or predictor of the weather to come, which is why it is also celebrated as Groundhog Day in the United States. There was an old English saying that went “if Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Winter will not come again.” In many places, this is traditionally seen as the best time to prepare the earth for spring planting.

In Perú the Fiesta de la Candelaria is a festival in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the city of Puno and it is one of the biggest festivals of culture, music, and dancing in the country.

The huge festival brings together the Catholic faith and Andean religion in homage to the Virgin of Candelaria. The Virgin represents fertility and purity. She is the patron saint of the city and is strongly associated with the Andean deity of ‘Pachamama’ (‘mother earth’). It is this common factor of both religions that brings them together for the festival. In 2014, UNESCO declared the festival an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The main dates of ‘Fiesta de la Candelaria’ are February 2nd – 12th.