“Streetwear, to me, is a form of identity…[it’s how] so many of us express ourselves,” says L.A.-based designer Rachel Gomez. After noticing a gap in the male-dominated market for “a dope streetwear brand that catered to women,” she launched Viva La Bonita, a lifestyle and apparel brand embedded in self-empowerment and Latinx culture. “We’re like your loudest hype woman,” she adds.
Across the brand’s assortment of hoodies, tees, home goods, and more, you’ll find inspiring Spanish and English mantras like “Mujeres are magic” and “Beautiful shade of brown” — the same mantras Gomez wrote to herself to navigate a particularly difficult period of her life. But while Viva La Bonita is rooted in Latinx culture, family helped plant the seed. She cites her grandmother’s strong work ethic and joy in doing what she loves as one of her biggest inspirations, and it’s she who lent Gomez the $500 needed to get her future business — her joy — off the ground. From there, it was up to her to put in the work to make her entrepreneurial dreams come true.
For Gomez, luxury isn’t about owning expensive, flashy things; it’s creating something out of nothing, then nurturing it and watching it grow — and that’s what she did. Her first collection sold out shortly after launching, tripling her initial investment. Since then, the brand has made its way into a handful of major retailers, which she considers not only a big accomplishment for herself, but for Latinx creatives everywhere: “It proves that we can take up space in these spaces that we’ve been made to believe are not for us.”
To celebrate defining luxury on our own terms, we partnered with Acura to share Gomez’s story of building a brand that encompasses the things that matter the most: family, culture, and love for creativity. Watch the video, above, to learn more about Viva La Bonita’s humble beginnings and get a peek into Gomez’s day-to-day as a Latina force in streetwear.