Whether it’s Latino Heritage Month or any other time of the year, Latino fashion designers and creatives are working to open the doors for the next crop of creatives with ties to the region.
This time, three of those creatives are doing just that with an “Into The Industry Workshop” in New York City for students from Mexico’s Istituto di Moda Burgo. Organized by designer Nadia Manjarrez of her eponymous bridal brand, celebrity and editorial makeup artist Mayela Vázquez, and fashion photographer Raúl Tovar, the three-day workshop taking place from September 29 to October 1 aims to Give entrants an inside look at the industry. .
“I am very excited to do this workshop for many reasons,” said Vázquez. “All my partners are 100 percent Mexican, we moved to New York more than 10 years ago, all in a similar situation: no job, no connections, no idea how to break into the industry. We started this project a few years ago with the aim of giving advice to our community and everyone who wants to succeed in this industry. To answer all the questions that nobody answers and the things that nobody told us when we started. We want to open doors and help them understand how they can achieve their dream job, whether it’s in fashion or beauty.
“Another thing that excites me is seeing how companies and brands like Make Up For Ever, Chanel Beauty, Caudalié, Bobbi Brown, Ceremonia and Benefit are beginning to support our project more and more because they care about the Latin market,” he said. additional.
On the first day of the workshop, Manjarrez will share everything about fashion design and participate in a question and answer session. Participating students will then take a field trip to a New York embroidery studio for hands-on experience. On the second day, Vázquez will lead an interactive learning experience in the Make Up For Ever studio and Atelier Beauté Chanel. The third day she will see students participate in a campaign session for Nadia Manjarrez Studio Bridal, with apprenticeships led by Tovar. Participation in the workshop has a somewhat steep cost of $1,450, although there was an installment payment option for students who registered early enough.
“My favorite day is always the photo shoot we do together. I love seeing their eyes when they see the results on the screen and the ideas we worked on over the weekend come to life,” said Tovar, whose work has appeared in Vogue Mexico & Latin America, Harper’s Bazaar and L’Officiel. “Personally, I enjoy answering all of your great questions unfiltered and sharing as much as I can about this industry that can be very intimidating when you’re on the other side.”
That intimidation is something the trio are working to weed out and something Tovar experienced firsthand in his early days.
“I once read an analogy somewhere that said the fashion industry is a table with a few seats for the same people to get the best meals (jobs) and everyone else will pick up the scraps off the floor… As cruel as that sounds That’s how I felt when I moved to New York City 11 years ago,” he said. “Until January 2018, the most coveted fashion magazine covers and ad campaigns were shot by the same circle of top-tier photographers. The social changes of 2020 brought many opportunities for emerging photographers with different viewpoints and perspectives on fashion. As a photographer, I love seeing different types of images and stories told by people who may have different sources of inspiration than mine.”
Now, it’s about continuing to open up those opportunities to a more representative cohort of creatives.
“I believe that success is a combination of talent and opportunity (and unfortunately also a bit of luck), so I love it when I see some of my fellow Latinos get great jobs that years ago seemed impossible or belonged only to the same job. A group of people. people,” Tovar said.
Manjarrez believes that, little by little, representation is improving for Latino fashion designers.
“I would love to see more, but I think there is a push now more than ever for more representation and diversity in all facets of the industry,” he said. “I believe it is our duty as Latinos to continue to help create even more opportunities and to cultivate, mentor and uplift the next generation.”
As a member of that next generation and a student who will attend next week’s workshop, Matilde Rojo said the opportunity means a lot to her.
“There’s not much you can read or hear about how the fashion industry works in the real world, so I’m excited to meet the panelists and hear their stories and how they got to where they are now,” she said. the young designer, who finally wants to create her own brand.
But the big picture extends even beyond your brand, to a broader representation.
“It’s important to make consumers feel seen and heard, we want to spend money and support brands that are inclusive, not exclusive,” said Rojo. “Everyone wants to feel like they belong and the fashion industry can do that by supporting models of all sizes and colors, photographers from different backgrounds, and showcasing covers with talent people can relate to.”
For Vázquez, things are already moving in the right direction.
“I definitely see an evolution since I started over 15 years ago. Now there are more campaigns, editorials and fashion shows where I have been working with Latino faces. Fashion and beauty brands have slowly diversified and become more progressive in opening new doors to Latinx talent, showing that they are interested in ‘everyone’ and not just one type of face or body shape,” he said.
“There has been a great impact with social networks, now everyone has a voice and Latinos have been asking to be heard, to be seen, to have an opportunity in this country and in this industry in particular,” Vázquez continued. “Today, some of the most influential magazines, companies and brands have Latinos behind them, so they have a great responsibility to break those limits and achieve it.”
This workshop is the eighth of its kind that Manjarrez, Vázquez and Tovar organize together. Another is scheduled for May 2023.