¡Moda Hoy! Latin American and Latinx Fashion Design Today

Fashion & Textile History GalleryMay 31, 2023 - November 12, 2023
woman in yellow and black striped suit standing between white curtains

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For decades, fashion designers of Latin American descent such as Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, and Haider Ackermann have been central figures of the fashion industry. Their successes have paved the way for new generations of talented designers, including Gabriela Hearst, Willy Chavarria, and Kika Vargas. These names represent only a few of the emerging designers who are making their mark on the fashion scene by creating for famous fashion houses, winning prestigious awards, and dressing celebrity clients. The English-language media has often viewed Latin American fashion from an outsider’s perspective—as an exoticized other—presenting the region as a homogenous entity. However, there is no singular Latin American style but rather a diversity of talent that continues to shape contemporary fashion.

¡Moda Hoy! Latin American and Latinx Fashion Design Today includes creators from Latin American countries, as well as designers of Latin American heritage living and working in the United States who are often referred to as Hispanic, Latino/Latina, or the gender-neutral term Latinx. This exhibition takes a decentering approach to fashion studies, shifting perspectives away from a single cultural viewpoint. The region, with its shared histories of colonialism, globalism, imperialism, industrialization processes, and local modes of modernity, has historically been dismissed by dominant Eurocentric fashion voices as underdeveloped. However, Latin American fashion is a powerhouse. During the 20th century, a number of Latin American and Latinx designers gained global recognition while the region served as an inspiration for designers from Europe and North America, functioning as a background in fashion publications and becoming a source of talent. In this exhibition, the work of Adolfo, Víctor Alfaro, Maria Cornejo, Oscar de la Renta, Luis Estévez, Carlos Falchi, Carolina Herrera, and Isabel Toledo exemplifies this era.

¡Moda Hoy! Latin American and Latinx Fashion Design Today is organized by The Museum at FIT’s Tanya Melendez-Escalante, senior curator of education and public programs, and Melissa Marra-Alvarez, curator of education and research.

You can read more about the exhibition via the press release (PDF).

back view of a red blanket coat and front view of golden dress with ruffled short sleeves

(L) Equiha, Devotion coat, New Classics collection, 2018, USA, museum purchase, 2022.24.1
(R) Kika Vargas, dress, 2022, Colombia, gift of Kika Vargas, 2022.83.1

black dress with polka dot train

Carolina Herrera, evening dress, fall 1988, USA, gift of Carolina Herrera, Ltd, 2005.48.8

green ensemble with black collar, belt, and trim

Oscar de la Renta, cocktail ensemble, circa 1974, USA, gift of Isabelle Leeds, 2005.71.3


white t-shirt laid flat as a square
1/8 Takamura x Artesanía Textil Arte-Fer, Cuadro Tlahui blouse, 2020, Mexico, museum purchase, 2022.26.1
multicolored sneaker
Ricardo Seco and Mauricio Carrillo, beaded sneaker, spring 2015, Mexico, gift of Ricardo Seco, 2015.5.1
two models in all pink and all blue suits posing on a crosswalk
Amantes Encontrados, 2019, for Vogue Italia. Photographer: Paola Vivas. Fashion: Sánchez-Kane. Styling: Chino Castilla. Models: Emiliano and Samuel for Güerxs Agency.
metallic halter top dress
Narciso Rodriguez, evening dress, fall 2005, USA, gift of Mr. Narciso Rodriguez, 2010.92.1
striped black pantsuit with purple details and belt wrapping around bodice
Carla Fernández, Adelita Pantsuit, Charro collection, fall/winter 2009, Mexico, gift of Carla Fernández/TallerFlora, 2008.41.1
model wearing a cape with indigenous patterns along the trim
Juan de La Paz, Kallawaya cape, 2022, Bolivia. Photo: Alan Stroebel, courtesy of Juan de La Paz.
model on runway wearing a colorful long dress
Gabriela Hearst, ss22, look-4. Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst.
black and white ensemble made out of used car parts
Zero + Maria Cornejo, vest and pants, capsule collection in collaboration with Hyundai, 2019, USA, gift of Hyundai Motor Company, 2022.50.1
blue top and skirt ensemble with flowers and netting
PatBO, evening set, spring 2016, Brazil, gift of Patricia Bonaldi, 2015.27.1
woman wearing a black summer dress with palm tree print
Johanna Ortiz, "Balmy Evenings" midi dress, ss22. Photo: KD Castañeda, courtesy of Johanna Ortiz.
cream and golden yellow ensemble
Rick Owens, ensemble, Spring 2021, France, museum purchase, 2021.40.1
gray ensemble with metallic belt
Rodarte, ensemble, spring 2009, USA. museum purchase, 2009.53.2
model wearing pink wide legged high waisted pants

Willy Chavarria, Ballroom chino, ss22. Photo: Selwyn Tungol, courtesy of Willy Chavarria.

model wearing tan and navy long sleeve dress

Luar, spring 2023. Photo: Filippo Fior, courtesy of Luar.

model wearing gre and green plaid ensemble

PTRA, 004 collection, look 14, 2019. Courtesy of PTRA.


Press Images & Related Events

Related Events
Past Event

¡Moda Hoy! Latin American and Latinx Fashion Symposium

The symposium "¡Moda Hoy! Latin American and Latinx Fashion" provided an opportunity for museum curators Tanya Melendez-Escalante and Melissa Marra-Alvarez to engage with the general public and the academic community in preparation for the upcoming exhibition of the same title. The speakers explored the work of fashion designers of Latin American heritage, shedding new light on Latin American and Latinx fashion. Topics included politics, sustainability, art, Indigenous heritage, gender, and popular culture. Recordings will be made available on YouTube in fall 2023.
Past Event

Blancopop: Styling Celebrities

Fashion stylists Juan de Dios Ramírez and Beto Escamilla, and actress Irene Azuela, present the book "Blancopop, Una Mirada al Estilismo de Moda en México". This book brings together artists, photographers, and celebrities with whom the duo has collaborated during their 35 years in fashion. Specializing in editorial and celebrity styling, Blancopop have worked closely with Latino/a stars, including Ms. Azuela, Kate del Castillo, Cecilia Suárez, and model Mariana Zaragoza, among many others.

Dive Deeper

View Press Images on Flickr 

Explore the works of photographer Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte

Image: Kika Vargas, dress, 2022, Colombia. Gift of Kika Vargas. 2022.83.1
Exhibition Reading List (PDF)

¡Moda Hoy! Latin American and Latinx Fashion Design Today is made possible with the support of the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 

Imagen en el banner: Apartamento 03, Ouro Collection pantsuit. Photos by Gustavo Marx, courtesy of Apartamento 03

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