Mexico City-native Victor Barragán (now based in New York) made a big pop on the internet way back when he first started producing tees that spanned Sex and the City and Marylin Manson. Since then, he has developed and pushed his label Barragán into territories we quite frankly have been dying to visit.
Think frilled velvets, titty zips, tribal tattoo print shrugs, bat wing-y mesh bodysuits, graffiti puffs, and a truly conceptual and aesthetic approach to questioning bodies by way of movement and gender.
Read on to get a little closer to Barragán’s world, and tap the gallery to see photographer Rafael Martinez’s take on the pieces in action.
When you first started, what type of person do you think you were designing for?
Our garments have so many references and attitudes. We jump from one reference to another reference — the idea of overlapping different inspirations to create a new concept. Each show is really playful for us. I believe anyone who can appreciate the narrative of the process can fall in love with the brand.
The label has matured greatly in the time I’ve been following… I first saw clever t-shirts then all of a sudden in was tribal shrugs and titty zips… can you walk me through the Barrágan narrative so far?
We started to play with different silhouettes lately. Each season we learn something new with the challenge to create bigger and more consistent collection. Tees became boring for us a long time ago, but it helps to create a fluid viral statement.
Everyone has more than one thing going on. What are your side hustles? Or is this a side hustle to something else?
Im getting really interested in performing arts and wardrobe related fashion, this business is fun but can be really restricted at the end of the day. It’s changing all the time. I do different freelances gigs to keep the brand alive — it’s time to get and investor.
And when you’re not hustling, how are you having fun?
For me the process of each collection and the experimentation in between is the fun part of my work. I like to try new things all the time, I believe you never stop learning.
In what types of places do you find the people who inspire you?
Older people usually, outside the fashion world. It’s where you get more motivated to start playing with new ideas.
What do you think it takes to survive in this world?
And what do you think it takes to survive in fashion?
What are the most important things to you in casting / choosing your teams?
Models need to know the brand — sometimes we could make them feel uncomfortable with the garments or art direction.
Your shows or presentations are always quite unique — are you a theatrical person?
I like the idea of bringing a show and entertaining. Like I always say: this brand is consumed through the eyes.
Who do you work with to develop concepts and builds for your shows?
Ruben Gutierrez. He is my best friend and we been working together since the first show in NYC.
What does your creative output reflect? Your dreams, your childhood, your fantasies?
All of them and all the things I can’t express talking or writing. I’m really shy irl.
Do you remember the last dream you had?
Yes all the time, and lately I have been dreaming constantly about situations in México — interacting with family or friends I haven’t seen in years. I think it’s pure homesickness.
And, your childhood, what was it like?
Honestly it was fun. I was by myself a lot, painting the walls, destroying toys and creating problems with my cousins. I was never chill and my mum didn’t like that, so she forced me to do any kind of sport Monday to Friday. And I had to work in my parent’s taco place on the weekends, then to church — I really used to hate the routine, but I always found a way to have fun. They push me to take public transportation really young, so I would go downtown by myself. I always found an excuse to not be at home or not go to church.
And what did you fantasise about last?
Finding a way to be stable and have a bigger team to create more pieces and projects. I have ideas and motivation, I just need more hands to do it better and more consistent.
Finally — what’s happening right now? What are you working on and what do you want people to get ready for?
We having a special group show in LA and SS19 is coming, plus another show with a different artist. I’m trying to play outside the fashion calendar just for pleasure and to have more freedom in my work.