If Kali Uchis, Lil Pore, FKA Twigs and María Félix (obvs) were to create a fashion brand together, it would probably look something like Bella-Doña.
The brand new, L.A.-based line is puro chola-princess, and whether the reference is intentional or not, its attitude and aesthetic are direct descendants of María Félix (aka La Doña), Mexico’s most glamorous old school movie star.
Chola style, described by Xicanista writer Julianne Escobedo Shepherd as “blend[ing] glamour with an inherent toughness or feminine strength,” owes a lot to Félix. La Doña was an OG badass who achieved mythical status in Mexico for her next-level glamour and IDGAF attitude. She openly defied macho notions of how a woman should act, and she never accepted the many Hollywood offers she received (because she refused to play its stereotypical “feisty Latina” roles and couldn’t be bothered to learn English). One could even argue that La Doña’s perpetually raised brow was a precursor to the chola’s exaggerated arches.
Bella-Doña is a full-on homage to the chola look and to the spirit that Félix embodied. Launched just a month ago, it was co-founded by singer LaLa Romero, who hails from Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley and describes her Latin-infused urban pop as “Pretty Brown Sound.” Bella Doña is the sartorial extension of her musical approach, and it would be right at home on the Mi Vida Loca crew.
The t-shirts, hoodies and crop tops are emblazoned with phrases like “Tacos before Vatos” and “Smile Now Cry Never,” and also feature Latina style icons like Selena, Frida, and La Doña herself.