A unique designer taking his own path

I had the opportunity to meet with Josh Tafoya, just after graduation in mid-May, 2013. We met in an empty classroom, and lucky for me, Josh brought a few pieces from his Senior collection entitled CHOLO. What may seem an unnatural or even offensive title to the novice, not so for Joshua. Growing up in Taos, NM, he began attending the Chicano/Mexican American community car shows with his father by the age of 5. He admired the designs, both outside and inside of these tricked up cars.  The Cholos were showing off their car’s design, colors and mechanical abilities of albeit very sophisticated, sexy cars, to crowds in parking lots, under the hot New Mexico sun.

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In highschool, with free time on his hands, the young Tafoya designed a black and white hoodie for himself, simply because he couldn’t find what he wanted in the stores in Taos.  Friends immediately took notice, and started asking him “Make one for me!”  His interest in fashion took off at this moment, learning more about designing not only for himself but for customers. Upon graduation, he knew his interest in fashion could be more than just a hobby. One of very few in his community to come to Parsons, he indpendently pursued his dreams while remaining very close to his family roots.

Some of the graphic prints in this collection, took an entire days time to create the Photoshop files. Josh’s ability to not only layer, but play juxtapose with his music and pop culture interests, and low-rider, cholo roots pushed his work this past year. It was a remarkable one of a kind showstopper collection, when it appeared on the runway at the End of Year show. Not only are some of his designs digitally printed on leather, but he collaborated with his brother-in-law to design complimentary jewelery pieces, featuring religious symbolism depicted in the collection.

The slideshow here includes moodboards, and finished pieces from Josh Tafoya’s Cholo Collection 2013.  Let us know what you think in the Comments section. Get in touch with Josh at joshtafoyaclothing@yahoo.com.

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