Mexican Designer Ricardo Seco Makes Political And Cultural Statement With Latest Collection
Fashion and politics don't always go hand in hand but on Feb. 3, in a studio at the Skylight Clarkson in New York, Mexican designer Ricardo Seco proved that together they pack quite a punch.
The designer surprised many when he included Republican candidate Donald Trump in a collection that presented years of tradition and pop culture in Mexico.
Seco, one of a few Latino designers to show their Fall/Winter 2016 collections for New York Men's Fashion Week, presented "Time," a collection of 22 looks made up of mostly black pieces and inspired by an item so common in Mexican culture it's often overlooked in high fashion: the sarape or serape.
With black as the base, the garments came in wool, cotton, cashmere, suede, leather, fur and acrylic metallic. Models of various racial backgrounds stood still as Latin American beats played and guests snapped away in awe of the over-sized shades, neon fur collars and striped belts.
Despite the various fabrics, the point Seco was trying to make came across easily and boldly throughout the entire collection: "It's sarape time."
This piece, with over 400 years of history in Mexico, made a statement about cultural appreciation in an industry where Latino culture is still short on representation.
"I think that it is time that the people of New York recognizes my work and it's time to share more about my country," Seco told Latin Post. "It is one of the most important aspects of my brand. I talk about tradition with innovation. The tradition is the sarape and I made it new."
Among the jackets and sweaters adorned with images of popular Warner Brothers character Speedy Gonzalez and Sarape-inspired belts with hints of red, orange and green, Seco included a parody of Trump.
On a model dressed in a fur-trimmed collar leather jacket, large shades, an orange printed turtleneck top and black pants, the most talked about piece was the white t-shirt styled on top.
Printed on the plain shirt was the face of Trump on a small body, hands on his hips and pouting.
Wearing a sarape, the caricature of Trump is only upstaged by the phrase placed underneath it reading, "I'm Mexico, who is Trump?"
With this one five-word question, Seco made it known that, despite being a member of the fashion industry and not a politician, he was not about to stay quite.
When asked about his choice to include Trump in the collection, Seco expressed his love for Mexico. He explained that while people are only now talking about Mexico, Seco has devoted his whole career to acknowledging his home country.
As for why he chose to criticize Trump, Seco had very few words and let his designs do most of the talking.
"I feel it, now is the time," he said with a sly look.
Born in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico, Seco may be considered "the one to watch" in the U.S., but in his native country the designer has reached influential stature.
A self-taught artist, Seco took his knowledge of business and pursued his passion for fashion design and, since debuting in Feb. 2012, has always designed with Mexico in mind.
His clothing is designed with the concept of being appealing to men and women and with his latest, Seco may have also catered to the visually outspoken millennial looking to embrace individuality without disregarding tradition.
"We create our future based on traditions and heritage," he said in a statement. "Which makes our time here beautiful. Now is the time to enjoy sarape and other street styles of the world."