Latino Designers are joined by Santana’s Andy Vargas for a Night to Remember


By/Por Editor Leah Bergman

Picture credits:  Leah Bergman


Co-founder Arabel Alva Rosales, designer Walter Mendez, and host Fernanda Kelly,

I walked into the building and could feel the Latin beat pulsating, energizing the crowd.  Pictures flashed as handsome Latino and celebrity models walked the red carpet.  They walked in celebration of a heritage and to give back to the community.  They walked for the Los Angeles tour of Latino Fashion Week.

Arabel Alva Rosales and Cesar Rolon, Co-founders of Latino Fashion Week, started this event originally in Chicago in order to elevate the perception of Latinos and give them a platform to break into the fashion business.  They have taken their event on tour with the theme “By Latino, For Everyone.”

Not only did the event show case Latino talent, but it also gave back to the community.  The V Foundation ( ), a charitable organization that is helping to find a cure for cancer, along with the Women Like Us Foundation (, an organization formed to empower women and girls, benefited from the proceeds of this event.

Andy Vargas lead singer of Santana

The show began with the music of Andy Vargas, who is the lead singer of the infamous, Latin infused rock band Santana.  Vargas is launching his solo career.  He said, “I’m working with a lot of great people.  I’ve been doing it over the years, but now I finally have the opportunity to gain some notoriety for what I am doing with my music.”    After hearing his performance,  his solo career is sure to soar.  He rocked the house with the depth and power of his voice, astounding the crowd.

Vargas talked about why he wanted to support Latino Fashion Week, “I was invited first off to play in Chicago… I fell in love with the designers. I fell in love with the people and the energy.”


LatinoFashionWeek from LatinoWeeklyReview on Vimeo.


The first designer showcased was Xochi, an urban menswear line.  The classic polos, fitted graphic t-shirts and jeans were worn by celebrity models such as Marvin Cortez, who is the first Latino male model on “America’s Next Top Model” cycle 20; Diego Val of “The Voice”; and the fun-loving Jamar Rogers of “The Voice.”


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The collection of Walter Mendez has timeless silhouettes with a modern twist.  “I’m always inspired by coral and water.  I always wanted to incorporate textures and colors from the ocean in the beginning and then transition into more dark, edgy, flowy, feminine, and chic,” said Mendez.

He also spoke about his experience with Latino Fashion Week.  He said, “It went well.  I felt like we had a great range of people, different designers to showcase Latinos.  We can do menswear, womenswear, couture, edgy, and sporty.  It was a great balance of everything to show what Latinos can do.”


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 Mexican designer Pineda Covelin celebrates his Mexican heritage by using traditional symbols, figures, and images.  He infuses these images with bold colors creating exciting prints that pique the imagination- a phantasmal world grounded in the images of the ancients.   His designs are colorful and passionate like the spicy aromas of Mexican cuisine- full of flavor and depth with something exciting and unexpected in every mouthful.

His designs were worn by “America’s Next Top Model” Don Benjamin and Marvin Cortez.


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 It was an evening of diverse and fabulous fashion, but with the passion and rhythms  of the Latino heritage making it a night to remember.  May Latino Fashion Week continue to “wow” us with an entertaining show, but more importantly inspire the Latino community and the L.A. fashion community.


©2013 Leah Bergman

Follow Leah Bergman on twitter @LeahBergman



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