This article appeared originally on peopleenespanol.com
Simon Guindi launched Spenglish (ñ), a high-end T-shirt line tailored to a millennial sensibility complete with puns and multicultural messages, to express his love for his Latin roots and help advance Latino culture. PEOPLE Chica spoke to the Mexican designer about his clever designs.
How was Spenglish (ñ) born?
I moved to New York in 2006 after graduating from American University, where I started my clothing brand. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for my multicultural roots, and I’ve always been very proud of being Latino. Both those things lead me to develop the concept behind Spenglish (ñ), and I decided to use the “ñ” as it’s the only letter in the Spanish alphabet that sets us apart from English and other languages in the world. I worked in finance for two years before realizing that my passion was creating clothes and being able to communicate positive messages through them. By producing my clothes in countries like Peru and Turkey, I’ve been able to create quality work. All my designs have that Latino touch.
Your pieces have an athletic quality, similar to loungewear but with more personality and style. What drew you to this aesthetic? Does comfort play a big role in creating clothes for Spenglish (ñ)?
Ever since I started the brand, I leaned towards creating comfortable clothing as a form of rebellion against formal office wear. The clothes are for the everyday life, for people who want to both look good and be comfortable. These things are the key ingredients to being a better person. Ideas flow better [in this state].
What role does humor play in your brand’s identity? How do you come up with the phrases you put on the clothes?
I use my multicultural background as a tool. Everything comes to me easier if I’m constantly thinking of new and fun ways to express everyday scenarios. My main mission is to communicate a collective consciousness and positive messages through humor and quality designs.
Is there a certain theme that you try to stick to?
My favorite is the Latino lifestyle within the confines of a city as incredible and as modern as New York. I love bringing them both together and giving the clothing Latino touches that everyone can identify with it.
Tell me about your collection À-la-Mexique.
I’ve collaborated with a few incredible organizations where I’ve met people such as Gabriel Rivera-Barraza, one of the most brilliant minds of public relations in New York and one of the most creative people I know. I invited him to my showroom and suggested we collaborate on a collection that was homage to some of the biggest names in fashion, while giving them that humorous twist. We took advantage of the puns trend and decided to Latinize these designers’ names with ones that were very Latino, which is why we decided to name the collection À-la-Mexique. We’re also donating 10% of our net profits to Glasswing International.
All of Spenglish (ñ) clothes have unisex designs and the brand isn’t tailored to seasons. Why do that?
The world is changing very quickly for fashion and the concept of gender. Sexuality is on such a large spectrum, and so it’s much better to be open to everyone. The season-less part of it is a consequence of fast fashion though because nowadays everybody wants something now rather than in a year.