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Not all superheroes wear capes. Sometimes they rock a matching cropped jacket and shorts set with rainbow embroidered T-shirts. Los Angeles-brand No Sesso made their second appearance at New York Fashion Week bringing along more of its playful and artistic designs, a focus on inclusivity, and debuted its new superhero, Valentina.
Founded by Pierre Davis in 2015, the Los Angeles brand continues its focus on the empowerment of others with this season’s motif “I’d Rather Rescue Myself.” The theme explores the power of self-protection, independence, and freedom, layered with the complicated weight of anyone having to carry the responsibility of protecting themselves in the world.
“You can only save yourself, and ‘yourself’ doesn’t always have to mean an individual person,” Arin Heyes, creative director of No Sesso, tell us. “It could be your crew, your family, or your community. Nobody can really save you better than the people that know you. It’s an empowering statement for everybody, any color, any sexuality. Take care of yourself and your people.”
On her new collection, Davis focuses on what it means to be a real life superhero. Valentina is mirrored after Pierre and Arin’s day-to-day life from saving the day, traveling to the beach, running her business, and going to parties. She, along with the collection is also influenced by their experiences during their “world tour” earlier this year, traveling to cities like Tokyo, Mexico City, New York, Chicago, and their hometown, Los Angeles.
“We travel a lot and we’re always looking for nice comfort clothing, something that’s a little bit more athletic and pieces that are a little bit more cozy when you’re on the go. Pieces that you can wear more than once in a week and not feel like you’re over-killing the look. This season we’re inspired by some of those places that we’ve traveled to recently, and as always we’re inspired by our friends and our community.”
The SS20 collection itself has “everyday wear” in mind featuring relaxed silhouettes that allow freer movement and day-to-day durability, but continues to offer the signature playful elements that the brand has become well known for like hand-embroidery and experimental hand dyeing techniques. “A lot of the pieces are more wearable for people who like to dress fun, and be a little lavish. And there are also pieces for people who are a little bit more on the chill, casual side,” says Pierre.
Vibrant colors appear throughout on materials like premium American denim, nylon, and silk, alongside colorful airbrushed T-shirts that were inspired by personal drawing from Pierre that are very reminiscent of early 2000 trends.
One of the major highlights from the show didn’t come from the gorgeous fashion, but from a beauty standpoint. The diverse cast of models all hit the runway sporting different hairstyles and make up from one another. For the show, Davis and Hayes, sticking to their message of inclusivity, teamed up with Michael Angelo of Wonderland Beauty Parlour. Angel and the parlour crew led the salon team, as well as led a group of five co-oped, immigrant transgender Latina cosmetologists in a group named Mirror. Each person on Angelo’s team and the Mirror team were all paid also. Something that isn’t always the case in the industry.
Last season, No Sesso made history for having the first trans designer to ever show on the official NYFW calendar, and now their breaking down more barriers with inclusivity. As Pierre and Arin continue to grow their brand, the more opportunities rise for others to leave their footprint and have their voices heard. If that’s not the definition of a superhero, than what is?