Fashion is a global language now. Some of the most hyped designers right now are from the former Soviet Union, Georgia (the country) has become a low-key hotspot for industry insiders, brands from Korea are killing it and every month our Under the Radar feature spotlights brands from all over the world.
21st-century youths are harnessing the power of the internet and social media to scour the world for newness, while designers and brands use it to take their visions global. It’s created a globalized melting pot of culture, and it’s one of the most exciting things about streetwear in 2017.
With that in mind, we’re venturing further afield to get a little closer to street culture scenes all over the globe. Next up in our roaming series of reporting is Ricardo Campa, from one of Mexico City's most popular multi-brand retailers, Headquarter.
I hit up Ricardo to find out what’s happening in the Mexican sneaker and streetwear scene at the moment, and how its music culture is influencing the country's current trends.
What is the streetwear and sneaker scene in Mexico City like right now? How does it differ from the rest of the world?
Over the past few years, streetwear and sneaker culture has grown a lot here in Mexico. The skate movement is also growing and there are more kids skating and more skate parks popping up.
What differentiates us from the rest of the world is that, although Mexico is a country with a lot of habitants, there aren't many stores and places to shop for name brands; almost everything is concentrated in Mexico City.
The economy is certainly another factor that makes consumer culture here in Mexico different from wealthier countries; there's definitely an interest in high fashion and streetwear, but not everyone has the budget to shop for it.
How do people dress? What brands are popular?
The style here is very diverse, but in terms of sneakers, the most popular brands are definitely Nike, adidas, Jordan, Puma and Vans.
Little by little, the stores in Mexico are starting to bring more high-end brands that are globally recognized, such as Undercover, COMME des GARCONS, Thom Browne, visvim, Dries Van Noten, Neighborhood, WTAPS, Carhartt, Maison Kitsuné, etc.
What are Mexicans most influenced by when it comes to fashion?
Music and celebrities are certainly big influences, and obviously the Internet. People are looking at blog and digital publications everyday to uncover the latest trends and brands that are making headlines.
What local brands and designers should our readers know about?
In terms of streetwear, Ready To Die, Toni Delfino, CRACKXCOCAINE, Sacrifice, Espíritus Libres, Pay's, Puta, Namenk, La Perro, Geoide are dope. Some really good skate brands are Dull, Copal, Puro Gallo, Aztlan, Deza, Lúdica, Mayas, Casta Propaganda, One, Core.
As for proper designers, Carla Fernandez, Trista, Lorena Saravia, Cihuah, Felina, Cynthia Buttenklepper and Yakampot are some of my favorites.
What are some shopping highlights? From vintage to hype gear to avant-garde designers?
Headquarter, Silver Deer, Destructible, Void, Stendhal Store, 180 Grados, Lemur, Sacrifice, Lust, Alive, Major Sneakers, Barrio Warrior, Loose Blues.
Why is goth, punk and metal styles so big in Mexico City? Does this translate into what kind of contemporary brands stylish Mexicans wear?
Music has always been a big deal in Mexico and it has always influenced the way people dress. Apart from our own traditional music, Western genres like rock and electronic have always been popular down here, probably because they were some of the earliest foreign music we were exposed to. Death and the afterlife are also strong motifs in ancient Mexican culture, so there's a strong connection with goth and metal aesthetics.
Every Saturday, there's this legendary flea market in Mexico City that's been around for more than 30 years called "El Chopo" that pops up. It's more of a subcultural flea market where people go to buy and exchange items and discover music within punk, heavy metal, goth, garage rock and industrial genres – so more dark rock and electronic type of stuff.
Is sneaker or streetwear reselling big?
Yes. Unfortunately or luckily to those who are in it, the reselling business is getting bigger everyday. People are paying others to wait in line to buy hyped drops and then resell them at very high mark-ups. There are also a lot of Facebook pages where you can find groups or people who are in the reselling business.
Is there a skate scene? If so, what are some places where they hang out?
The skate scene is really big in Mexico City and luckily there are lots of free skate parks that are being constructed here. Some of the most important skate parks are Consti, Templo Mayor, Cabeza de Juárez, Fishbone and San Cosme.
What's the music scene like? What genres are big and what are the best parties to go to?
The music scene here is very eclectic. Electronic music and rock have always been the dominant genres here in Mexico, but there's been a growing interest in hip-hop and reggaeton.
Local collectives like N.A.A.F.I. are cultivating a very interesting underground scene and bringing global exposure to their sound and culture.
I personally prefer to go to concerts, or some small bars like MNRoy or Departmento.
For more global fashion happenings, find out the eight best designers we saw at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi.