Willy Chavarria Infuses Athleisure with the Anti-Establishment

Willy Chavarria Infuses Athleisure with the Anti-Establishment

The Mexican-American designer's upside-down flags subverted logomania for Spring 2019.

The Mexican-American designer's upside-down flags subverted logomania for Spring 2019.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

Many of Willy Chavarria’s designs may formally qualify as athleisure, but beneath the colorful sportswear was a thread of militant political engagement. The show was divided into two parts: Chavarria’s main line, which emphasized crazy-sexy-cool baggy silhouettes and workman’s attire, and his new collaboration with German brand Hummel, which opened the show with a line of World Cup-ready soccer apparel.

But the show soon took a turn from leisurely to utilitarian with Chavarria’s main collection. Mixing and matching macho Timberland work boots with mesh crop tops, the clothing reflected Chavarria’s multifaceted worldview; growing up in the rural, largely disenfranchised farming community of Huron, California, Chavarria became interested in civil rights—particularly those of Chicanx and LGBTQ peoples, whom he often spotlights in his inclusive model castings.    

The designer conveyed that sense of activism in his nostalgic but politically timely SS19 collection; while the sagging jeans and primary colors recalled logo-loving 90s streetwear trends, the upside-down American flags and visages of Rep. Maxine Waters were clearly anti-establishment.

Credits: Photos: Selwyn Tungol

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