Laredoan has designs featured by international fashion companies


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One native Laredoan has taken a huge step in their fashion career as their work is being featured in a Famous Footwear fashion campaign thanks to a partnership with their university and British footwear and clothing brand Dr. Martens.

Jude Hinojosa is a fashion designer and artist hailing from the Laredo area. Recently Hinojosa had the opportunity to feature their designs in Dr. Martens’s All Access Summer campaign. This allowed them to take their designs and career to a new level while they finished their masters’ degree program at Central Saint Martins in London.

Hinojosa was one of the five students chosen for the opportunity.

As a Gateway City native, Hinojosa has explored their culture and taste for music in efforts to craft several fashion wear items that have landed them an opportunity for their clothing to go international. The designs featured in the campaign are based on their memories from their summer vacations they had with their family while in Texas and the Laredo area.

Hinojosa’s fashion designs also focus on creating non-binary clothes out of upcycled menswear that are picked up from charity shops, providing the clothes a second opportunity and a new chance to be worn. Upcycling means using old or vintage pieces of clothing and transforming them into something which is better than its original design.

The Central Saint Martins fashion program is internationally renowned for its creativity, innovative and independent teaching, and network of fashion insiders. Its alumni have shaped the global fashion industry, from household names such as Alexander McQueen, Kim Jones and Stella McCartney, to changemakers like Grace Wales Bonner, Nancy Dojaka, Craig Green and Phoebe Philo.

“My upcycled menswear comes from a non-binary perspective,” Hinojosa said. “I’m non-binary. I have always been. But for much of my life, I had to live a cis male lifestyle. It wasn’t my truth, but while I did my best to be part of a world I couldn’t connect to by heart, I did witness the softer side of masculinity — the sensitivity as well as the lack of expression.”

Hinojosa said these emotions found as they were trying to discover themselves offered new options in menswear by taking pre-existing “male” attire and molding it to emotional yet familiar pieces. According to Hinojosa, the clothes are meant to serve as a choice or, even, as a source of inspiration for people who want to represent their style truer to themselves.

“Working for Dr. Martens was a great experience,” Hinojosa said. “They allowed me to voice my creativity in menswear as I see it, and gave me an opportunity to partner my look with such an iconic shoe brand. I woke up to an email with the news. While that might sound a bit anti-climactic, it meant the world to me!”

Hinojosa said the partnership with the international fashion design company will eventually help them succeed more in their career as they continue studies for their master’s degree. They said one of the best things about being offered the opportunity was the fact that such a big brand has allowed them to express themselves through clothes as well.

“Dr. Martens gave me an international platform to show my work and express myself as a designer,” Hinojosa said. “Their support will be something I’ll cherish and look back on as I continue solidifying the foundation of my career. Expression of my creativity is essential.”

Hinojosa said their goal is to build a brand that’s true to the ethics they live by. According to Hinojosa, these ethics are sustainability with upcycling, expanding the options in menswear and supporting work by non-binary, women and other contributors.

“I intend to blend menswear and art together,” Hinojosa said. “Ultimately, I want to be immersed in the fashion world as a direct contributor with my ideas. I am very open to seeing where life takes me, however, my focus is on designing my experiences and offering it to whoever resonates with them.”

For the classic rock aficionado, Hinojosa said 1950s and 1960s music was the source of inspiration for their fashion designs. They said songs like “The Twist” by Chubby Checker and “Baby Love” by the Supremes spark joyful memories of summer vacations with their family.

“The music ignites emotions that I use in my process,” Hinojosa said. “While each work is impacted by different inspirations, the base of my pieces is consistent: memory, emotion, self-expression.”

They said all of their memories are what they delve into when trying to come up with a new design. They also said wearing clothes is all about making memories as well.

“For me, clothing is about memory,” Hinojosa said. “To wear a physical piece that represents a moment in your life. Upcycling second-hand clothes keeps what we cherish from the past and (can) be a part of us as we create new memories now and in the future.”

Aside from music, Hinojosa said the culture from their hometown of Laredo has also helped them structure several items as they feel memories represent the individual and help mold who the individual is and what they wear.

“I was born and raised in Laredo where I had the privilege of experiencing a hybrid of American and Mexican traditions,” Hinojosa said. It was my hometown where I first felt the joys of comic book stores, the ropa usada warehouses, pinatas swaying on trees and the sounds of the Matachines in December. When I visit, one of my favorite things to do is walk downtown and visualize the past. Seeing myself as a child shopping with my parents. Thinking of those who walked the same streets a century ago and envisioning what Laredo looked like through their eyes. It’s my memories of the city that brings inspiration in what I do.”

Hinojosa said their main inspiration for their designs is thinking of the summer, as it always brings back memories to them of family vacations.

“We’d all cram into the car and turn on the radio station while on the road,” Hinojosa said. “There would be a certain point where the station would go to static. That was our cue that we left the city limits. We’d search for the 1950’s/1960’s rock ‘n’ roll station that the radio would pick up when we got closer to San Antonio. However, we would never remember where the station was on the radio, so we’d go back and forth between the sizzling noise and random music until we found it!

“We’d always get so excited because when we heard the music, we knew summer had officially started for us! For my look, I wanted to capture that memory with pieces that would move with the wearer and allow vibrant bursts of color, whether it’s during a walk or dancing!”

For any individuals interested in buying the fashion wear being created by Hinojosa, currently they are in the process of creating a collection that will be available for purchase some time next year. They told people to keep their eyes open for when their clothing is released for purchase.

Hinojosa and their fashion designs can be followed through their Instagram account @jude_hino_josa.


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