From Gabriela Hearst to Maria Cornejo to Narciso Rodriguez.
When Oscar de la Renta founded his eponymous label in 1965, he had already fine-tuned his skills under the guidance of couturiers at leading European houses. But unlike many of his contemporaries who followed the same trajectory, his designs highlighted a different perspective. From flowing dresses with ruffles and skirt suits in bold prints and colors, de la Renta riffed off the traditional dress of his native Dominican Republic, imbuing his collections with his Latinx heritage.
Over the years, other talents from Latin American countries followed suit. Carolina Herrera brought the frills and volume of Venezuelan aristocracy to the doyennes of the Upper East Side in the '80s. Cuban-born Adolfo Sardina also catered to the same coterie during that period, offering bouclé suits in bright hues. And two decades later, Narciso Rodriguez (whose family is from Cuba) and Maria Cornejo (who is Chilean) garnered headlines with their sleek runway presentations.
Latinx designers are continuing to pave new territory within the fashion industry today, bringing the vibrancy, diversity, and inherent pride of their respective cultures along with them. The eclectic array of designers proves the proclamation that Latinx style is much like the Latinx experience—read: far from monolithic—which is exactly what makes this growing group all the more intriguing to watch.
Ahead, see what 12 leading designers have to say about how their heritage informs their collections, and shop their signature pieces.