Walter Mercado is not only our spiritual advisor, he’s also our fashion inspiration. Throughout his career, the boricua astrologer dressed in ornate bedazzled capes. And while he’s mostly left that life behind (people tended to fixate on the clothing item when they imitated him and not on his personality) and donated many of his cloaks, he still has held on to some of the nearly 1,500 capes he amassed. One that he seemed to have held onto was a Puerto Rican flag cape that he wore to a parade celebrating the island, but this week, the Puerto Rican icon gifted it to Lin-Manuel Miranda.
On Twitter, Lin-Manuel shared the news. “You guys don’t understand…,” he started. “I met @waltermercadotv today & gave me a ?? cape. That’s it, we’re done here, there’s nothing left to be said, my Abuelas in Heaven are SHAKING CONSTELLATIONS somewhere.”
Those who do get what a big deal this moment is have reacted appropriately.
If it is indeed the same cape that Walter wore to the parade, he had María Remedios Martorell design it so he could properly represent his island. “They called me from the Puerto Rican parade and I wanted to have a symbol to represent Puerto Rico,” he said in a 2012 interview with El Nuevo Día. “And the cape was a success. People applauded it a lot… The press documented the cape.”
And now, ahead of Hamilton starting its Puerto Rico run, Lin-Manuel has his own bedazzled cape. Lin-Manuel is currently in Puerto Rico to debut the Broadway musical, which has garnered a lot of buzz, but also come with plenty of criticism.