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A Peek at Latino Style

Latinos value their sense of family and are loyal to their indigenous roots. These UCLA students’ style and apparel show their cultural pride.

Robert Castillo
First-year political science student

What he’s wearing: Robert wears an OBEY shirt with the statement “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress,” which he interprets as political corruptness.

Why he’s wearing it: Having first learned about OBEY when he watched They Live, a film about propaganda, Robert often wears this brand of graphic tees to convey his own political opinions. His belief that government can be corrupt stems from the Mexican government and its relation with the drug cartels, which has personally affected his family living in Mexico.

More about OBEY and its creator, Shepard Fairey…
Some may most likely recognize the work of artist Shepard Fairey from the 2008 presidential election poster of Barack Obama. With the word ‘HOPE’ written under the candidate, the artwork became a symbol of inspiration and possibility. His artwork is a combination of street art and graffiti and often carries a political message.

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Cynthia Jasso
First-year political science student

What she’s wearing: Cynthia is wearing skinny jeans, which she feels is typical American clothing, and is carrying a morral, which she brought back from a trip to Mexico. What she especially likes about the morral are the vibrant colors, each of which has a special meaning, and if she were ever kicked out of her house, the morral is the one thing she would take with her.

Why she’s wearing it:  Cynthia describes her style as “Ni de aquí, ni de allá,” in reference to her Mexican and American influences. She constantly struggles to represent both cultures through her clothing and stay true to her indigenous roots.

More about the morral…
These handmade sacks represent a large part of the spiritual beliefs and cultural practices of the Huichol, an indigenous ethnic group in Mexico. The Huichol people use this bag to carry sacred offerings for special ceremonies.

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Nancy Pino
Second-year physics student

What she’s wearing: Nancy is wearing tan leather sandals with floral details and rubber soles, a variation of the Mexican huarache.

Why she’s wearing it: Every year she visits her parent’s native country, Mexico, and always brings back shoes and handmade jewelry because they have unique designs. She especially likes that they are made by the people and represent their hard work. She also likes the raw and earthy material they are made from. She wears these items to express her culture and share it with others.

More about these huaraches…
These handwoven leather shoes have been a staple of Mexican-style footwear for hundreds of years. They were originally considered peasant shoes and were handmade from woven leather and rubber soles. Variations of the huaraches became popular in the US and can now easily be found in shoe stores during the summer season.