Walter Mercado wasn’t understated. When his HistoryMiami Museum exhibition – Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado – opened, Walter rolled in on a golden throne. When the late astrologer spoke, it became easy to see why the public was entranced by him. And when it came to his wardrobe, he didn’t just put on any old pair of jeans and shirts.
You might believe that the reason his clothes were sequined, colorful, trimmed with lace and extravagantly embellished was because his larger-than-life personality couldn’t be contained in just anything. But the real reason that he was dressed up was you. In an interview with Jorge Ramos, Walter explained, “It’s so I don’t disrespect the public. The public wants Walter [mono], bonito and at least, with his really nice clothes.”
And though Walter has always worn flashy clothing, his style changed over the years. At one point, capes were almost like a uniform for Mercado, who amassed nearly 1,500 of them. But when they became the only thing people noticed, he decided to retire them. “When people imitated me, they just wore a wig and a cape,” he told El Nuevo Día in 2012. “But they didn’t imitate my essence or my message either.”
Many have tried to copy his look and come up short. On anyone else, his mix of ruffles, embroidery and oversized baubles would look tacky, but on Walter, they looked elegant. As we look back on every aspect of what made him so interesting, we can’t forget his clothing. Below, check out nine outfits that were, like him, truly out of this world.