9 Latinx-Owned Fashion and Beauty Brands You Should Know
From bold ruffles and off-the-shoulder silhouettes to colorful embroidery and tropical prints, many styles we know and love have been influenced by Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. And as with many things we've come to view as fashion "trends," many of these pieces have been whitewashed, and are now being sold by brands that have no ancestral link to the styles' origins. Which is why supporting Latinx-owned fashion and beauty brands is so important. Instead of buying that embroidered poncho from a fast-fashion retailer, shop any and all of these independent brands.
For ethical fashion project Allpamamas, founders María Puente Silva (Spain) and Vanessa Alarcón (Ecuador) collaborate with artisans to create sustainable pieces that are imbued with the spirit of the Andes. Each of the brand’s garments is designed and produced by hand in Ecuador—and often feature silhouettes and prints reminiscent of the South American mountain range (think: fringe, patchwork and ponchos). We discovered Allpamamas through UNIDOS, a bilingual platform that highlights young artists, designers, musicians, chefs and other creatives from the Latinx community all over the world.
2. palma swim
After Hurricane Maria, Quiria Rodriguez Romano started Palma, a sustainable swimwear brand, with the mission to let the world know that Puerto Rico and its beautiful beaches were ready for visitors again. In addition to using fabrics made from recycled bottles, Romano donates a portion of sales to donates to the Feeding America affiliate Banco de Alimentos Puerto Rico and Inc. and Mentes Puertorriquenas, an organization empowering young Puerto Ricans to become agents of change. Right now, the line includes swim trunks for men and boys (and super cute face masks), but a women’s range is on its way.
Founded by Edwin Jimenez Casanova, a native of the Dominican Republic, Cuerpa is a natural skin and body care line crafted from high quality, responsibly sourced ingredients. The name Cuerpa, which stems from the Spanish word cuerpo, or ‘body,’ is also an idiom used in some Latin American countries to describe a beautiful woman or voluptuous and sensual body. Per the brand, “We always strived to make the most of women's beauty and this is why we want to empower them with such a feminist brand name Cuerpa, as we also fight against feminicide and machismo.”
Colombianas Renata Black and Modern Family's Sofia Vergara teamed up to cater to women of many different sizes with the inclusive, seamless underwear brand EBY (which stands for Empowered by You). All of the thongs, bikinis, briefs, cheekies and high-waisted pairs are available in sizes XS to 4X. The undies also available via subscription service, meaning your underwear drawer will get a refresh—shipped for free—for just $16 a month. Further, EBY funds microfinance loans for women all around the world, enabling them to start their own businesses and break the cycle of poverty. Now that’s the definition of feeling and doing good.
5. Selva Negra
Inspired by founders Kristen Gonzalez and Sam Romero’s Latinx heritage, Selva Negra is an ethically-focused clothing brand that makes bold pantsuits, dainty patterned dresses and everything in-between. Gonzalez told Teen Vogue, “Historically, Latinx have been marginalized and under-represented in America especially in creative fields. We want Selva Negra to bring Latinx vibrance to the independent fashion design industry while bringing awareness to young Latinx creatives how owning a fashion brand is attainable.” We’d say mission accomplished.
You know Beautyblender, you love Beautyblender, but did you know that the innovative makeup sponges were created by Rea Ann Silva, a proud Latina? After going to college at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles to pursue a fashion career, Silva discovered she was more drawn to the makeup world, and became a makeup artist for music videos, films and TV shows, including Friday, Girlfriends and Moesha. As TV shows started to be shot in high definition, Silva realized that actors’ makeup needed to be flawless, and set out to create a tool that would provide the airbrushed finish she was looking for. And that's how the iconic pink Beautyblender was born.
7. Melt Cosmetics
Founded in 2012 by Lora Arellano and Dana Bomar, Melt Cosmetics was created to fill the void in the market for highly pigmented, ultra-matte, bold shades of lipstick. Our personal favorite color? Pink Heels, a matte, coral-pink that looks incredible on all skin tones. Per the brand, “The story of Melt is not just another story about two young women who created a business that quickly outgrew their homes. It is about being unafraid to take the risks involved in pursuing your dreams, and the willingness to put customers at the center of it all.”
8. Bomba Curls
Bomba Curls was created when Lulu Cordero, an Afro-Dominicana, found herself suffering from severe traction alopecia. For relief, she turned to the unique hair care recipes used in her native Dominican Republic that promote hair growth and health. The beauty brand uses the unique elements of Dominican style formulations and blends them with time tested hair care secrets and organic ingredients to naturally nourish the scalp, achieve luscious curls and promote healthy hair growth.
9. Hija de tu Madre
Blending American fashion with Latinx representations of identity, Hija de tu Madre’s founder, Patty Delgado, set out to create a fashion label that celebrates dual identities. She told Teen Vogue, “I aimed to build the brand that I would have loved seeing when I was growing up. In this political climate, it's our job to take up more space than ever, and support POC businesses who are paving a way for themselves in a predominately white business world.” In addition to cute graphic tees, Hija de Tu Madre has tons of empowering desk accessories and jewelry, featuring sayings like Si Se Puede (yes you can) and Make Jefa Moves (make boss moves).