‘’The Spotlight’’ Featuring fashion and clothes designer Gustavo Gonzalez
Escrito por: Giancarlo Terrones 🇦🇷🇵🇪
Gustavo Gonzalez holding up a pair of jeans he designed in Huacho Peru st. on Feb.6, 2023 (Courtesy of Gustavo Gonzalez)
Beloved Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez once said in a Dish Latino Commercial “los Latinos hemos llegado muy lejos, nuestras películas ganan premios, nuestra música da la vuelta al mundo y hasta tenemos un servicio de televisión que lleva nuestro nombre.’’
These wise words had me thinking of amazing Hispanic artists that reside within the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia communities and how much passion and work is put towards their art whether it is music, art, fashion, etc.
Some of them are determined to spread their work throughout a wider audience while many of them find it difficult to get attention, recognition and support needed to be able to reach dreams and aspirations involving their work.
It is important that these artists within the DMV community gain more recognition and have their work and name highlighted to not only inspire other young Hispanic people but also find the next artist that will help put our community on the map.
Popular performers like Bad Bunny and Kali Uchis, painters like Fernando Botero and Frida Kahlo, and well-known actors like Michael Peña and Pedro Pascal are excellent examples of how their work gained recognition early on before they went on to become household names. Working hard at their craft and putting their ideas towards their creations to find a way to make a name for themselves and showcasing the talent that is present in our community to the rest of the world.
My first guest on this edition of "The Spotlight’’ is Gustavo Gonzalez from Gaithersburg, Maryland. Just about 27 minutes from College Park if you're able to dodge traffic.
Where are you from, how did you and your family end up here in this small town?
I’m from Peru in South America and I live about four hours away from Lima in a city called Haucho. My parents and I came here in 2010, we managed to do that because my mom and dad managed to save money. We were poor but, not to the point where we were starving or anything like that. There was always food on the table and we had a home that wasn’t ours but it was like our home… But it wasn't enough for a sustainable life. My parents saved up their money, bought a ticket which took years. since my uncle had to start the process to be able to legally come to the United States and then we flew here.
Growing up were you always into fashion and designing clothes did you have other passions and interests?
I started getting influenced by the artists that you know, had the flashy clothes, cars and, and all of that. I remember I think around 11 years old, that's when I started getting into fashion through ASAP Rocky...I mean, at first I wasn't into fashion. I used to actually be more into sports: soccer. Soccer was everything back then.
Are there any interesting moments in your career involving your work like a celebrity encounter?
When I first started, Trippie Redd was playing a show in DC. I drove straight there and I tried waiting in the back. And I remember trying to sneak into the concert. But I would fail because the security guys would catch me. One of the security guards told me that a specific person standing over on the side was his manager. So taking the chance to be able to share my work, I went up to him and talked to him for a bit and gave him my jacket that I worked really hard hoping that it would reach Trippie Redd. I gave him the jacket and I never heard from that again. And then I've gave my work to a couple of artists…they're not super big, but they're big in the underground culture..
What's one of your favorite pieces of work from your art collection
It's in between two pairs of jeans and a hoodie that I made.It has writings with small letters and a couple drawings that always remind me of when I first started and these two pairs of distressed jeans that are just inspired by one of my favorite brands Undercover. It was plain normal jeans and I distressed all over it and covered it up with darker denim so it could stand out.
The first hoodie Gonzalez ever created taken in Gaithersburg, MD in 2019. (Courtesy of Gustavo Gonzalez)
In your opinion when an artist works on their art what do you think is something important that they should keep in mind?
Try to be themselves and keep the individuality… Don’t follow the trends and follow what other people are following, don't follow what's trending. Do what you like, not what you think people are going to like. If you plan on selling stuff for a crowd then sure, you do have to think about what they like, but it's also about what you feel looks right and what looks good because it’s you, the creator making something out of nothing. If your intentions are right then people will gravitate towards you in a positive way.
Like many young artists that are starting out, what do you do to support yourself as you continue your journey?
I work a couple jobs, my main job is custom clothing design while working on my brand as I slowly build it. I don’t want to rush things. I want to get every single detail perfectly. Especially for what it means to others and what I stand for. Besides that I have a couple of other jobs as well. I do part time work at a catering business and instacart.
What is your ultimate goal with your work and where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
Build successful clothing brands, one being sustainable and affordable with good quality clothing as well as a high fashion brand focused on limited quality pieces. Also be involved in home decor and designing furniture as well as maybe toys and sneakers. Ultimately I see myself traveling the world and just exploring and discovering new cultures. `
To see more of Gustavo’s work you can follow him @1of1gus on Instagram