Model walks the runway with outfit from ‘Destacarse’ collection by designer René Camarillo. Photo by René Camarillo

By Adelmi Ysita

Boyle Heights Beat

On the eleventh floor of the Reef building in downtown Los Angeles, attendees made their way down the hallway and picked up food and drinks as they made their way to the white chairs that lined a catwalk.

It was René Camarillo’s presentation of his “Destacarse” brand on July 28, the third professional fashion show for the 23-year-old designer from El Sereno.  About 80 people enjoyed a night filled with free drinks, food and soft music.

Camarillo chose “Destacarse” – “to be bold and stand out” in Spanish– as the name of his company because “my pieces and my whole clothing aesthetic [are] very interesting.”

The collection “explores binary oppositions regarding gender… This menswear collection is a celebration of dual spirits which destroy boundaries and may be worn by both men and women,” read a statement by the designer.

Model walks the runway with outfit from ‘Destacarse’ collection by designer René Camarillo. Photos by René Camarillo

Camarillo began the show with a short speech. “This is not my show, this is our show,” he told the audience as he thanked them for attending.

The mood of the show seemed somber, with dark, soft music playing as four barefoot models holding roses walked the catwalk with their arms dipped in black paint. White mesh tops and dresses with black denim bottoms were common elements throughout the collection.

“His designs [had] a lot of flair and [were] flowy… which I really love,” said Jesus Suatan, a long-time friend and model for Camarillo.

“The music made [the show,]” said Ciandael Gonzales, a friend and former work colleague of Camarillo. “[It was] so intense and brought off the emotions he was going for… it showed a statement for the transgender community.”

Camarillo’ interest in fashion began while he was a student at Woodrow Wilson High School.

“I started playing with sewing machines and playing with needles and buttons and zippers and just sewing things,” he said. “I wanted to try to make different clothes with different emotions.”

“Seeing him grow to now becoming a designer himself is a great process to see,” said Gonzales.

The show ended with a dramatic dropping of the roses by the models –an action meant to represent remembrance, respect, and prayer towards the transgender community. “The roses represent difficult love”, said Camarillo.

After months of preparation, hard work and dedication, the fashion show went the way the designer hoped.

“The symbolism, the effort, the emotion… honestly spilled over the floor this night,” he said. “The bartender was busy, the models were bright [and] the guests were left amazed.”

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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