Mexican-American Label Equihua Accuses French Brand of Stealing Its San Marcos-Inspired Designs

Lead Photo: Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Read more

Mexican-American brand Equihua is accusing French label Marine Serre of stealing its designs. After the French brand showed its Spring/Summer 2019 collection on Tuesday, Equihua’s designer, Brenda Equihua, took to Instagram to denounce Serre for allegedly taking her famous prints, which are inspired by the beloved San Marcos blankets.

“This is not a trend. This is not hype. People’s lives are involved. Our cutters, sewers, mentors, pattern makers, our friends, and our community,” reads the Instagram post, which also called out other brands, such as Zara and H&M, who have stolen from Mexican designers and Indigenous communities in the past.

Equihua, which Vogue featured earlier this month, also insinuates that coverage of the brand may have led Serre to draw inspiration from the Latina-owned business. “This was on Vogue for two weeks and by the looks of it @marineserre_official definitely saw it,” wrote designer Brenda Equihua, who’s based in Los Angeles. “You can’t bully me.”

View this post on Instagram

Everyone that knows about EQUIHUA is a witness to the love and the pain that it takes to bring OUR stories to life. This is not a trend. This is not hype. People's lives are involved. Our cutters, sewers, mentors, patternmakers, our friends, and our community. People DM us telling us how much these pieces mean to them. How they grew up with these blankets. It's a mother's love and it's my entire heart exposed. What I shared was with love and compassion and I took the time to present it in the most honorable way. To have this story ripped from A page in MY book that I wrote with my blood, sweat, and tears, and that I fought for with my bare hands, is a tragedy. It's history repeating itself. It wasn't stolen by Zara or H&M. It was stolen by an @lvmh recipient. I am grateful for everyone that wrote about it and gave this story visibility because this is happening all over the world to so many designers. Those who know, know. I love you! Please help share this story and read the link in our bio. This was on Vogue for two weeks and by the looks of it @marineserre_official definitely saw it. You can't bully me. I was raised by a strong immigrant Mexican mother y como dice el proverbio "They tried to burry us. They didn't know we were seeds" . Let the world know that this rose is full of thorns. @diet_prada if there were ever a time. And by up-cycling, they meant other people's ideas! @olskoolsean @lunalovebad @samieremusic @mermaidvision @hollywoodmig @lordnalige @voguerunway @mitu @hypebeast @carolineissa @celinecelines

A post shared by Pronounced "e-KEE-wah" (@equihua_official) on

For Brenda and her followers, the San Marcos blankets aren’t just about making a stylish statement, they are about celebrating their Mexican identity. San Marcos blankets – thick, plush cobijas, mostly found draped over the couch or beds in Mexican and Chicano homes – are dear to her customers. They often message the designer to tell her how important the pieces are to them. San Marcos blankets have intricate designs of flowers and religious figures that have served as inspiration to Equihua’s line, which is full of plush hoodies and jackets. “That is a blanket that represents family and love and comfort, and it has very strong ties to Latino identity,” Brenda told Vogue.

Marine Serre, who’s a member of the French Federation of Couture, has not responded to allegations yet. Equihua, on the other hand, chose to tag prominent outlets like Vogue and Hypebeast. “I was raised by a strong Mexican mother y como dice el proverbio, ‘They tried to [bury] us. They didn’t know we were seeds,’” Equihua wrote at the end of her post.