21 Oct

R.I.P. Oscar de la Renta

oscar de la renta designer

©Oscar de la Renta

One of the classiest and most talented designers that ever stepped foot on this earth, is now gone. Oscar de la Renta has passed away. He was 82 years old. The half Dominican and half Puerto Rican-American fashion designer was born on July 22, 1932 in the Dominican Republic as Óscar Arístides de la Renta Fiallo. He was only 18 years old when he made the decision to pursue his dreams. With a strong love for the arts he moved to Spain to study at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. He was trained by the best of the best in the industry. De la Renta has had a successful career where he designed the most gorgeous gowns for celebrities and royalty. The first and only time I saw the designer was when I was a student at FIT. He was invited in as a public speaker and he was such a unique soul. He talked about the good and the bad in the industry, and then he asked, “Where are my Latino children at?” Only a few of us in the audience clapped/stood up (including me) and he said, “Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do anything.” He shared with us that when he was making a name for himself people tried to say he was Spanish (from Spain), or Italian and he had to correct everyone and tell them he was Dominican. Even as tough as it was for minorities in the 50s and 60s, he identified himself as a Latino. He told us to be who we are and to never ever let anyone make you something you’re not. I admired his realness and he always had my respect. De la Renta was such an eloquent man. Let’s not disregard his humorous side. He added that in order to succeed in fashion one must be talented. He said if you try to sell a garment that’s terrible “people won’t care if it was made by 1,000 virgins” it has to be good. I will never forget that speech. Certainly, we’ve lost a true artist. R.I.P. You will be missed!

13 Oct

Victor Cruz for HUGO BOSS

NFL star, writer, and now model, Victor Cruz is one of the new faces for Hugo Boss‘ “Success Beyond the Game” campaign introducing the relaunch of three of the label’s parfums that “emphasizes the aspects of success across all facets of a man’s life” (PRNews). The New York Giants’ player is representing “Hugo Man.” Cruz is a true Jerseyan (from Paterson, NJ) known for being an exceptional player, role model, and for his salsa dancing skills that he proudly exhibits every time he scores. The super gorgeous half Puerto Rican and half Afro-American athlete says he learned how to dance from his grandmother and does this in her honor. So just when you thought he was showing off, he’s paying respect to his abuelita. How sweet! This is not all. Cruz is also an author. His book, “Out of the Blue” is about his journey and all of the obstacles he had to overcome to attain success. No question about it, Cruz is un orgullo Latino!

 

11 Oct

HATE: Speaking Spanish

not speaking spanishEvery time I write about Latinos not knowing Spanish, I get a lot of heat for it. But don’t get your panties in a bunch, ALL of the children in my family don’t speak Spanish and my Spanish isn’t flawless either. Which is okay. Anyhow, wanted to share this story with you that I found quite interesting. I went shopping with my sister today, and we were debating whether or not to buy a particular product. My sis was speaking to me in Spanish, and a Latino associate who works at the retail store interrupts us and says, “I hope you’re not addressing me, because I do NOT speak Spanish.” I said, “Yeah, well, learn SPANISH, you’re in AMERICA!” (I’m a jokester. Hardy Har Har.) Then my sister said, “Your name tag reads your name is José not John or Joseph.” To which he responded, “I don’t know what the hell my mom was thinking of when she gave me that name!” Muy, pero muy, interesante.

11 Oct

LOVE: Hablando Inglés

hablando inglesLatinos LOVE being nice and making others feel better about themselves. Let’s take a relative of mine as an example, who knows very little English and sometimes has trouble with saying “he/she” as she tends to confuse the two. Every time she sees a cute baby, she tells the mother of the child, “It’s cute!” Could you imagine the look on the mothers’ faces. If she’s with me, I try remedying the situation quickly following up with a “Yes, your baby girl is a doll!” or “Isn’t he handsome!” Trying to soothe the offended mother when a total stranger compliments their child as if they were a pet. Que será, será? I guess, we love hablando Inglés!

29 Aug

HATE: To R.S.V.P.


Latinos HATE to R.S.V.P. In invitations, it is meant for one to respond if they’ll be attending the event or not. R.S.V.P. is French for Répondez s’il vous plaît, meaning “Reply if it pleases you” or “please reply”. Latinos hate to R.S.V.P. for the following reasons:

  • We’re not sure if we’re going, because we may get invited to a better party, and then we’ll feel terrible canceling at the last minute (we hate giving others false hopes).
  • There’s a limitation as to how many people can attend with us (for those who put “1″ all we have to say is, “Reeally?”). That’s not going to work.
  • We do not like the person enough to get them a gift.
  • When they add in fine print “NO children allowed.” Well, uh, that’s a no-go.

And last, but not least, we prefer to show up! Or as my sister always says, “Yo voy si tengo tiempo, cuando me vean ahi, sabran que llegue!”

15 Aug

Latinos Say the Darndest Things

Latinos talkingThe things Latinos say, at times, are absolutely hilarious. Or is it just my relatives? Recently, I got together with mis hermanas and some of our gal pals. My sis brought along one of her new friends. We had a great time. The next day, my sister asked my other sister if she thought the newcomer was cool, and she replies, “Es mas falsa que un billete de tres!” (She’s more fake than a $3 bill.) *lol* You can’t sit with us! Read More

07 Aug

LOVE: Holding Grudges

mad smiley faceLatinos LOVE holding grudges. Personally, I still HATE people from high school. Okay. Not really, but I couldn’t care less about them. That’s right. I’m a lean mean fashion machine. All jokes aside. Not all Latinos hold grudges. Actually, many Latinos are very forgiving and they let bygones be bygones. They do know how to forgive and forget. The rest of us, not so much. While the average person has a “falling-out” Latinos have a YDTM “You’re Dead to ME.” You can call it pride or ignorance, but if you do us dirty, there’s nothing you can do to clean it up. When it comes to holding grudges, they last forever or as long as we do.

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