When it comes to style and luxury items, Europe’s fashion houses continue to dominate the narrative of what’s in and what’s out. The annual fashion circuit, regardless of its shift to digital platforms, still showcases the hottest designers emerging in Paris, New York, London, and Milan, solidifying these places as the de-facto capitals of contemporary design. And while these hubs continue to foster talent that challenges our concepts of style and how we experiment with clothes, they are no longer the sole incubators of forward-thinking designers. Our globalized world has now projected fashion to the masses, inspiring people from all corners of the globe to enter this creative and ever-evolving field. Latin America is no exception, with some of the region’s most exciting talents currently making a name for themselves in Mexico.
While Mexico’s traditional garments and textiles have been celebrated for generations, it’s never been considered an exciting destination for exploring fashion. In fact, Mexico’s local craftsmen have fallen victim to plagiarism and cultural appropriation in recent years, prompting citizens, creatives, and even politicians to criticize foreign designers who incorporate Mexican culture in their collections without crediting their sources. But times are changing, and the era of the Mexican designer is finally coming to fruition.
Mexican designers are not only pushing the boundaries of the country’s concepts of fashion, but also pioneering a new aesthetic that borrows from European houses, streetwear culture, and Indigenous imagery to create something unique. These brands fall into several categories, ranging from sustainable fashion to couture and body-positive statement pieces. They challenge traditional Latin American ideas of sexuality and gender and manage to do so with a chic edge.
So whether you’re interested in shopping for a new winter coat and supporting Latin American talent or merely shopping for a loved one this holiday season, here are seven Mexican brands you should definitely consider.
The Pack is a Mexico City-based menswear brand that focuses on environmentally sustainable materials and fair labor practices. Not only are their pieces ethically sourced, but they’re fairly priced based on their sourced materials and labor costs, meanwhile incorporating various aspects of Mexican imagery. You’ll notice pieces inspired by vaquero culture, such as an oxide-dyed cotton jacket reminiscent of cowhides or a charro-style washed denim pant with traditional silver thread embroidery.
If you’re interested in custom pieces, The Pack also crafts made-to-order items like a charro-style leather jacket or am off-white linen pants with custom thread details. What makes this brand so unique is how much craftsmanship goes into each piece to create something distinctly modern but still undeniably Mexican. This is where you’ll find a statement piece that will stay in our wardrobe for years to come.
Ocelote is all about being bold and fearless, but with simple cuts that play with the body’s proportions. Offering men, women, and gender-neutral pieces, this brand takes a turn for the avant-garde by experimenting with flared denim jumpsuits, micro tops, cheetah print, and some flattering undergarments that accentuate the body but leave very little to the imagination. Ocelote is also a brand that challenges gender norms, meanwhile making contemporary garments with a strong emphasis on comfort.
This is a collection for the modern fashionista who isn’t afraid to push boundaries and play with fashion in a fun way with unabashed confidence. You don’t wear Ocelote to blend in but rather heighten your presence. You can spot style inspirations in their collection from Berlin streetwear and Scandinavian design, but also urban subcultures that prioritize simplicity in their fits. Overall, Ocelote seems like a big contradiction between simple and over-the-top, but we can’t help but find this Mexican brand to be excitingly progressive.
Graziano and Gutierrez
Labeling itself as a Mexican-American brand, Graziano and Gutierrez work with textile artisans in Oaxaca and Chiapas to create vibrantly colored and resistant clothing. The brand sources materials like hemp/cotton blends, 100 percent handwoven cotton, and natural dyes to create beautiful and sturdy garments that are perfect for the colder months. Graziano and Gutierrez’s designs come in utilitarian cuts like trucker jackets to more relaxed fitted shirts and shorts. The collections’ textiles are representative of the artisans’ heritage and come in more colors than we can count. You’ll find a collage of different patterns to solid colors, and they’re all equally beautiful, versatile, and durable when properly taken care of. This is an excellent brand for sourcing your next jacket or fashionable top layer that can either be neutral or have tons of personality.
This Mexico City menswear brand sells effortlessly cool graphic tees, jackets, pants, caps, and miscellaneous objects that we want and never knew we needed. The designers pull inspiration from many sources, including prehispanic cultures, youth movements, and, as they like to put it, “the diversity of the human experience.”
Hermanos Koumori considers itself to be a creative hub where various topics are discussed and explored before making their way into their collections. This is a great shop for anyone who is into minimalistic fashion, staple pieces that can be worn in a million ways, and a laid-back approach to style that makes pieces easy to dress up or dress down. We love their well-structured corduroy jackets and their sporty leisure line Post Running High.”
MANCANDY is the creation of musician, photographer, and designer Andres Jiménez as a way to blend his musical projects with fashion that explores Mexican subcultures. The brand went on to be awarded “Who’s on Next” by Vogue México & Latinoamérica and has since come out with gender-fluid collections that include pieces like wide flared jeans, tie-dye, and LGBTQ+ themed garments. MANCANDY is colorful, edgy, and full of experimental cuts that make each piece feel like a piece of art. Jiménez’s eclectic pieces are mostly inspired by his experiences exploring Mexico’s cultural diversity and evoke both sex and body-positive messages. You can shop a wide range of items from sweatshirts to ripped jeans and a jockstrap if that’s what your winter wardrobe is currently missing.
Simple By Trista
As the name implies, Simple By Trista is, well, pretty simple. But simple doesn’t necessarily mean boring. This brand is all about soft linens, solid colors, comfortable fits with elastic and flowy unisex pieces that can be used in both casual and formal settings. Simple By Trista has the versatility of a capsule wardrobe but with a certain sophistication that prevents it from feeling too generic. This is a brand for anyone who’s constantly on the go and wants to throw some pieces together to look put together with little to no fuss. It’s perfect for anyone in need of reliable basics and minimalists and works for various age ranges. If you’re scratching your head about what clothing pieces to buy for a loved one, this brand is an easy choice.
Pay’s is the intersection of pop art and Mexican pop culture, plus some other influences from folk art and streetwear. This is one of the most imaginative and vibrant Mexican brands out there today by reimagining traditional Mexican imagery into abstract art pieces. You can choose between bright colors or muted tones while sifting through Pay’s collections, but we personally love their beautiful rugs and ponchos that showcase Indigenous themes with a splash of retro aesthetics. A sweater is one of the most classic wintertime gifts, and a Pay’s sweater is one of the more unique ones you’ll come across today. If you’re not afraid of graphics, geometric patterns, and some eclectic fun in your wardrobe, then add Pay’s to your winter shopping list.