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Willy Chavarria finds inspiration from immigration for NYFW:Men’s

By Kristopher Fraser



Willy Chavarria has long believed in fashion without borders. He’s been inspired by everything from his own cultural heritage to the various cities he lives in. This season, his New York Fashion Week: Men’s show included East and West coast inspiration, in addition to the debut of his see-now-buy-now collaboration with Danish sportswear brand Hummel.

For his spring/summer 2019 collection, Chavarria played on 1999 and 2000s nostalgia, which has been influencing everything from fashion to television show reboots lately. For the East Coast vibes baggy jeans were tucked into Timberland boots, while West Coast inspiration was seen with wide leg, baggy denim trousers.

“My inspiration was people of color and immigrants on both the East and West Coast,” Chavarria said to FashionUnited. “I was looking at everywhere from the San Joaquin Valley, where I grew up, to the Lower East Side.”

There was a strong message of immigrant rights that translated through pieces, like a white t-shirt with an upside down American flag. A T-shirt with the face of Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a vocal opponent of Donald Trump, was a less than subtle homage to Chavarria’s views on the current state of politics. This collection sent the message that immigrants are here and America better get used to them, whether they are legal or undocumented.

Willy Chavarria channels the immigrant experience for NYFW: Men’s

Don’t think that his collaboration with Hummel was just another designer sportswear capsule collection either. Chavarria used this collection as an opportunity to show how sports and fashion can transcend beyond race. He’s currently sponsoring a soccer team called RIFA of immigrant players who will be the first to wear the collection.

“I wanted to work with soccer because it is a game where everyone is welcome,” Chavarria said to FashionUnited. “It’s the game of poor people and it’s the game of immigrants. These are the guys who work on the corner deli seven days a week. That game is everything to them. Soccer is a game if the people, and it brings everyone together.”

While Chavarria was heavy on the neutrals, like black and white, in addition to denim, which goes with anything, the Hummel collaboration was an exploration in color. Yellow, orange, and red were all part of the color palette juxtaposed against black and white.

This season’s line also included a jewelry collection by artist Chris Habana and photographer Carlos Jaramillo. Every element of the collection was a reminder that both America and the fashion industry is a melting pot.

Photos: Courtesy of Purple PR
New York Fashion Week Mens
NYFW: Men's
Willy Chavarria