A Local’s Guide to Chicano Style in Los Angeles
Vogue, 08/08/2019
View on Vogue

American Women | Vogue

“In high school I used be hella about that pinup life,” says 20-year-old Sailor Gonzales, a Los Angeles Latina studying fashion design and Chicano studies with whom Vogue spent a day traversing L.A.’s skate parks and thrift stores—and exploring her closet. Family is important to Gonzales—living up to what the generations before her strived for by coming to America—as is not becoming a fashion trend to be copped and claimed by outsiders.

We spent a day walking through her neighborhood of Wilmington (where she explained the cyclical nature of local violence), going to L.A.’s skate parks and thrift stores, and exploring her closet, where Gonzales showed off the pieces she thrifts and alters herself. “If I want something that’s really expensive, I just pay a dollar and make it cooler and better and how I would like it,” she explains in a bedroom decorated with drawings of Frida Kahlo, Cesar Chavez, and Selena Quintanilla paraphernalia. “She’s super-relatable, someone you can really look up to, especially when you’re a little girl,” she says of the late singer. “Most of the people around you are white and they don’t understand you. But, like, Selena understands me.”

But back to pinup style: "[I would] wake up at 4 in the morning and do my hair in victory rolls and all the makeup.” These days, her references have become a little more up-to-date: “I’m super-interested in things I’ve seen my mom wear,” Gonzales says of her glittery “cholita eye makeup” and the mole she draws on her cheek in the exact same spot that her mother has one. Family is important to Gonzales—living up to what the generations before her strived for when they came to America—as is not becoming a fashion trend to be copped and claimed by outsiders. It’s our history, she says, and it’s also a legacy that’s inherently American.

A Local’s Guide to Chicano Style in Los Angeles

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