HIGH FASHION MEETS LATINO HUMOR: Ever wonder what some of the world’s most celebrated designers would be called if their names were Hispanicized? Two New York-based Latinos did and decided to have some cheeky, subversive fun with the idea. The result is a limited-edition collection of T-shirts called A La Mexique, a collaboration between Gabriel Rivera-Barraza, a fashion and communications consultant who has been instrumental in raising the international profiles of such designers and labels as Del Pozo, Christian Cota and Carlos Campos, and Simon Guindi Cohen, the man behind the creative laboratory Spenglish.
So, Alexander McQueen becomes Alejandro McReina; Jean-Paul Gaultier is rechristened Juan-Pablo Gutierrez; Coco Chanel is Coco Canales, and Yves Saint Laurent morphs into Isidro San Lorenzo. One needn’t be fluent in Spanish to get the joke — Ashlee Simpson did, and snapped up a few Ts.
“I was looking to twist fashion in a very Latin way,” Rivera-Barraza explained, “and A La Mexique came to my mind during a trip to Paris and how my friends and I were mispronouncing — by French standards — names like Gaultier or Saint Laurent. So I asked, why not to adapt all these brands to Spanish!? It was unexpected and funny!”
Hopefully Hedi Slimane won’t take offense the way he did when he withdrew the Saint Laurent line from Colette in retaliation for the store selling fake YSL T-shirts in the basement level.
The T-shirts are made in Peru of Pima cotton and retail for $50 each via Spenglish.net. A percentage of sales, said Rivera-Barraza, will be donated to Project Paz to help with peace efforts in Juarez, Mexico.