Fierce

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

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Mexican Politician Accused Of Rape Vows To Block Elections Unless He’s Allowed To Run

Things That Matter

Mexican Politician Accused Of Rape Vows To Block Elections Unless He’s Allowed To Run

It’s an election year in Mexico and that means that things are heating up as candidates fight for the top spot. At the same time, Mexico is experiencing a burgeoning fight for women’s rights that demands accountability and justice. Despite all the marches and protests and civil disobedience by hundreds of thousands of Mexicans, it remains to be seen how much change will happen and when. 

Case in point: Félix Salgado, a candidate for governor of Guerrero who has been accused of rape and sexual assault but maintains the support of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). Now, after being disqualified from the race because of undisclosed campaign finances, the candidate is vowing to block any elections from taking place unless he is allowed to continue his campaign. 

A disqualified candidate is vowing to block elections unless he’s allowed to run.

Félix Salgado was running to be governor of the Mexican state of Guerrero when he was faced with allegations of rape and sexual assault. The commission that selects party candidates allowed him to remain in the race and he continues to maintain the support of President AMLO – who is of the same political party, Morena. 

However, in late March, election regulators ordered that Salgado be taken off the ballot due to a failure to report campaign spending, according to the AP. Mexico’s electoral court ordered the Federal Electoral Institute (FEI) to reconsider their decision last week. Salgado is already threatening to throw the election process into chaos.

“If we are on the ballot, there will be elections,” Salgado told supporters in Guerrero after leading a caravan of protestors to the FEI’s office in Mexico City on Sunday. “If we are not on the ballot, there will not be any elections,” Salgado said.

The AP notes that Salgado is not making an empty threat. Guerrero is an embattled state overrun with violence and drug gangs and many elections have been previously disrupted. Past governors have been forced out of office before finishing their terms. Salgado was previously filmed getting into a confrontation with police in 2000.

It was just weeks ago that the ruling party allowed Salgado’s candidacy to move forward.

In mid-March, Morena confirmed that Félix Salgado would be its candidate for governor in Guerrero after completing a new selection process in which the former senator was reportedly pitted against four women.

Morena polled citizens in Guerrero last weekend to determine levels of support for five different possible candidates, according to media reports. Among the four women who were included in the process were Acapulco Mayor Adela Román and Senator Nestora Salgado.

Félix Salgado was the clear winner of the survey, even coming out on top when those polled were asked to opine on the potential candidates’ respect for the rights of women. He also prevailed in all other categories including honesty and knowledge of the municipality in which the poll respondents lived.

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Maluma Teams Up With Luxury Brand Balmain For This Must-Have Fashion Collection

Entertainment

Maluma Teams Up With Luxury Brand Balmain For This Must-Have Fashion Collection

It’s 2021 and we have no shortage of epic collaborations between some of the world’s biggest Latino stars and top fashion brands. Everyone from J Balvin and Bad Bunny to Cardi B and now Maluma have entered the fashion industry to sell a lifestyle. And people are buying!

Maluma and French fashion house Balmain bring us a limited-edition collaboration.

Colombian superstar Maluma has partnered with French fashion house Balmain to launch a limited edition collection that will be available from April 12 through June 1 in all Balmain stores, including brick and mortar and online.

The collection, which includes sneakers, blazers, t-shirts, pants and other ready-to-wear clothing, will also be available at Saks Fifth Avenue as of April 15.

The Balmain + Maluma line marks the first time ever the brand has designed a line with a celebrity. And it seems like the brand’s creative designer is pretty excited about the collab. Through photos on his Instagram, Olivier Rousteing referred to the reggaetón singer as his inspiration, captioned with supportive laudatory messages about merging their cultures and joint design process.

“Maluma, more than him being an incredible singer,” Rousteing notes, “[brings] a lot to the fashion community with his joy and his happiness and the fact that he’s always playing up his style from different kinds of houses from around the world, mixing different cultures as well… I think the collaboration with Maluma is obviously giving to Balmain and pushing the aesthetic more internationally.”

Maluma also seems to be pumped for the opportunity!

Although Balmain has featured other celebrities in advertising campaigns and runway shows, it has never actually enlisted a celebrity to help design a full, name-branded line.

The brand’s high profile, along with the haute-couture retail price of the collection, underscores how entrenched Maluma is now in the global fashion world and how valuable his endorsement and name is perceived by high fashion.

“It’s been one of my goals to work with a respected fashion house on a collection, but this journey was more exciting, as Olivier pushed me to design with him and sketch looks that I personally will wear off the stage and showcase high couture with a bit of Papi Juancho,” says Maluma, referencing both his album name and alter ego.

But if you want a piece of the collection be prepared to drop those coins.

Credit: Phraa / Balmain

Items in the Balmain + Maluma collection range from a black cotton T-shirt that retails for $495, to $1,500 high top sneakers to a $2,555 multi-color print bomber jacket.

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