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NY Fashion Week: Mexican American Designers Find Inspo in Modernism

by Brian Latimer /  / Updated 
Carlos Garciavelez (left) and George Sotelo (right)Brian Latimer /

At the New York Fashion Week: Men's Spring/Summer 2017, two Mexican American fashion designers find inspiration in modernism, as well as aspects of Mexican architecture and art.

Carlos Garciavelez, lead designer for his New York City-based brand Garciavelez, was born and raised in Mexico City. He attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design and became an urbanist and architect, which he told NBC Latino he was destined to become since both his father and grandfather were architects.

“What you can see in my clothing and in my work has mostly to do with the idea of modernism in Mexico and how it arrived to the city,” said Garciavelez, explaining that Mexico was one of the places in Latin America where modernism arrived as a very strong identity, "and it showed in architecture and art.”

He said he an appreciation for modern design is much as part of his identity as his Mexican heritage.

 Carlos Garciavelez, a Mexican-American designer, after his Spring/Summer 2017 show at New York Fashion Week: Men's. Thomas Kletecka/CollectiveEdit

“My collection centers on the idea of decay in the world in terms of infrastructure,” Garciavelez said. "The collection explores the ideas through prints and layers, even in terms of how the show is set up. Our video installation is very interesting, and the sound actually decays throughout the installation."

George Sotelo, the designer and brains behind Thorsun swimwear, told NBC Latino he draws inspiration from both modern pool design and Mesoamerican pottery.

Born in Los Angeles, Sotelo and his family would travel to Mexico for vacations, but because he is the youngest of eight children, he often went off exploring on his own.

"Every summer I would go to Mexico and I was always kind of blown away by how diverse it was from a more European culture, and you would cross into towns and it was very indigenous," Sotelo said. "I would go to this ceramic museum and I kind of fell in love with plates and ceramics from all over Mexico."

 Models pose in Thorsun swimwear at S/S 2017 New York Fashion Week: Men's. Rob Kim / Getty Images

"I am obsessed with Mesoamerican pottery and modernism, so I found swimswear to be an interesting way to be graphic with my prints, but also something wearable and approachable."

Sotelo said he is happy and proud to represent his Mexican heritage at NYFW as an American, and present his perspective on Mexico.

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