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In the year 1980, Gloria Fuentes not only began her high school journey as a freshman, but also began her self liberation and expression as an individual. SKLTN sat down with Gloria and began to explore her colorful and electric past which is quite evident in the photos that captured the very moments she speaks of.
In what decade were you most expressive with your style of dress? In the 80’s I was most expressive, I guess because they were my teenage years. I was a freshman in high school in 1980, I lived in the whole decade. That’s when I started to be a little more liberated and spoke freely. I graduated in ‘84. I had a lot of friends and we all had the pouffy hair.
your your style
culture of dress?
I think so, in the 80’s I went to Puerto Rico as a sophomore and I remember they had these black bracelets that looked like rubber bands. When i came back home, It took a while but i started seeing them over here and I picked up on that from seeing them there first. Madonna started wearing a lot of those bracelets too. There were also these seashell necklaces that I’ve seen come from Puerto Rico too. What about
parents think you dressed?
They found that some of our styles were a little unusual. But we were teenagers and it was beautiful to me. Hip. Stylish. It was fashionable at the time. They got used to it. What kind of boys did you go after and how did they dress? The cute kind [laughs]. Back then they had baggy pants. Some guys wore hammer pants and I was like “ehh”, It was stylish but i don’t like the hammer look [laughs]. Back then when guys wanted to impress a girl they wore collar shirts with ties, sophisticated you know? Oh and Cameros were the stylish cars. Were vision
influenced by shows or
Tv Shows? Saved by the Bell, Happy Days, Little House on the Prairie, [laughs] I used to always say, “Goodnight John Boy.” but I don’t have a John Boy here [laughs] Kid ‘N’ Play, Jazzy Jeff, and Fresh Prince influenced me. Hilary, from The Fresh Prince, definitely influenced me. That’s how I would dress. Her whole outfit was something I’d wear. Mini skirts, loose tucked in tops, pumps, and curly hair. I had a perm back then. Everybody did. When it came to music videos, Madonna was the “ish” person, along with Lisa Lisa, Teena Marie, oh man she could sing, Sugarhill Gang, and LL cool J.
a trend that just suck you
Heavy earrings. They were really nice but they jacked up my ears [laughs]. Everyone wore the big earrings and I liked them a lot. These were real gold too, 200 lbs [laughs]. What trends do you notice coming back from that time period? What would you like to see come back? Tights, Tights are coming back. Shoulder pads too. They were annoying by the way. They would always flip over. I would like to see the grandma panties comeback [laughs]. Back then we had real panties, now we’ve got string panties. Dental floss panties [laughs]. What other
set you girls,
In school I looked like a teacher, I’d go to school and I’d be dressed up. Appearance was everything to me. I’d wear shoes, a skirt, a nice white shirt, tie, and a briefcase that I’d use as a school bag. My hair was slick on the sides and all curly in the middle. Some people would ask if I was a teacher and I’d stop and say, “Well, i could teach you a few things.” [laughs] What was something that you could not leave the house without? I could not leave the house without lipstick. Bright pink or red. My shoes had to be nice too. My books could stay home though [laughs]. Almost everyday I put my hair in tight small curlers. My hair had to be curled, had to be permed. A perm back then was expensive for me. So curlers it was. My hair, shoes, and lips had to be right. What was an easy everyday outfit for you? The black miniskirt and pumps were important. I had every color. There were also these really wide belts that I had to have on every outfit. From fluorescents to black & white. Green and Pink were also hot colors for me.
Who were some designers that were present at your time?7 Jordache and Sergio Valente. Sasson were the it jeans but when I went to puerto rico in those jeans i got made fun of. The two S’s in sASSon were together and looked like a butt. They made comments about that. [laughs] What for
My dreams were to be a movie star and a model, but mostly to be a dancer. I used to always dance. Not professionally, just my own thing. I was close to graduating when I wanted to pursue dance but there was no school that I knew of so i went with fashion merchandising. I was a little disappointed with that choice. I wanted to make clothes and be more hands on. I then wanted to get into retail. I like retail. I love seeing the new clothes that are coming into style. I’m in sales now so thats my thing.
In one word, describe yourself in the 80â€™s F
Did you often grab a lot of attention? I got a lot of attention because of my clothing. People wanted to know where I got my clothing. They wanted to know how I could afford the latest styles because I wasn’t rich or anything, I was still financially on they’re level. I became a social butterfly despite the fact that i was very quiet. But when we were in the club, dancing was my thing, thats where I would shine. I’d do the Peewee Herman, the worm, the running man; I wouldn’t get tired either I could dance for hours straight, no problem. I was the type of person that didn’t need to drink to have fun. If you had soda or water, I was good. I had a lot of energy. Describe an put together To a
outfit for a
you’d party. party?
Flat boots, black almost up to the knee. Skirt or shorts and black stockings. So the color could flow and make my legs look longer. The top was usually pretty loose and long sleeved. I liked contrasting tight with loose. A lot of people said I looked like Paula Abdul at parties. But I swore I had it first. She copied [laughs]. Describe an outfit you’d wear on a date. On a date? Mini skirt [laughs] or a dress, that would be to the knee ...or a little above the knee [laughs]. A florescent belt to accent my waist. Heavy earrings, makeup and my hair would be slicked back on the sides and pouffy in the middle. What about formal events, such as a prom? Prom. I had to be different all the time. All the girls had puffy things. I had a dress that was only pouffy around the shoulders, but silm all the way down. Also I was always picked as the brides maid. I think I have more than 27 dresses. I should have been in that movie by the way. 50 DRESSES! [laughs] The dresses were ok for the time. Some were too revealing, too sexy. That was alright though [laughs].
What are some of ite memories from
My favorite memories are the friendships, my family, and the music. I remember just listening to music everyday all day. I love music. I’d listen to all kinds of music, I was very versatile. I listened to spanish, rap, the quiet storm, I loved Sade. Boom boxes were in too. The bigger the boom box, the hipper you were. I was constantly recording. I was in my room recording on cassettes. I hated when the radio would play two or three songs straight and then make it known that it was a radio station with some sort of announcement. I would have to stop the cassette then record over it, I was my own little DJ.■
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SKELETON _ e,e,o= skltn
HAT IS BLACK BOOK? WHAT’S THE GOAL OF THIS BRAND? Black Book is for everybody. That is what our logo, a leopard-pig tells you. Fashion is for everybody, even pigs. No matter who you are, how you look or how much money you got, you can always dress good. Also, a big misunderstanding is that Black Book is a t-shirt brand. It’s not. I only started with t-shirts because that was the only thing I could do by myself in the beginning. I couldn’t even sew a pillowcase in school so I just bought a pack of transfer paper and a t-shirt from H&M and started printing. The goal of the brand is to offer a real brand with a real solid identity but for a price that is even cheaper than the big chains. HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN? THE MAKING OF THE SHIRTS, THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT, AND THE MOTIVATION TO KEEP IT GOING? It all began in my kitchen. I had a vision about my own brand and from there it became an obsession. As I said I started with buying t-shirts from big chains like H&M and putting my own design on it. The inspiration for the designs, the business side and making it big are completely different worlds. So the motivation to go on and keep struggling, even though everybody I knew and everybody who heard about my little vision about a brand said I was an idiot who dared to dream and that I would never succeed, just came out of this obsession. Like a mad man. WHAT TYPES OF THINGS DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN DESIGNING A SHIRT? The perfect picture. Once I’ve taken that or found it on the net, it comes naturally to me. I always go for a magazine-concept; the cover or the ads. That’s what I like on a t-shirt and that’s what sells. Rectangular photos with text and a feeling of theft from the fashion industry’s commercialism. Which it most definitely is. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SHIRTS FROM YOUR PREVIOUS COLLECTIONS? A t-shirt called “Memories Never Die”. I made that after some sort of break up. It features a picture of a strong, muscular man standing in a vulnerable position with his head buried in the arms of a woman with a freezing stare into the camera. And the text “Memories Never Die”. Simply because it came so naturally one night without any thoughts of being a best-seller. Which it eventually came to be anyway. TELL ME ABOUT THE NEW COLLECTION, WHAT’S THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT? We, guys, are mean. So many references to that whole theme. One t-shirt is called “Boys Are Mean” another “Diamonds Last Forever” which implies that boys don’t. WHERE DO YOU PLAN FOR THIS TO TAKE YOU? The sky.
I SEE “LEOPARD MAGAZINE” ON YOUR SHIRTS A LOT. WHAT IS LEOPARD MAGAZINE? Leopard Magazine is our in-house magazine. Right now it is so limited that no one but us have it. But our plan is to release it soon. It’s not going to be an ad paper that we disguise as a magazine. No, it’s going to be a real magazine and not just advertisement for us. It’s going to revolutionize the industry. That’s all I can tell you right now. HOW DID YOU TEAM UP WITH H&M? Black Book quickly made a rocket launch into the fashion world and due to the fact that I started empty handed I got the chance to design the collection that came to sell all over the world. Hype that Sweden hadn’t seen before, an interesting history and cool sellable prints are what I think made them want Black Book for a collaboration. WHO IS THE CUSTOMER IN MIND WHEN YOU CREATE YOUR SHIRTS? I don’t work like that. Can’t do it. I wouldn’t be able to create If I thought like that. I design from my perspective and my taste. Luckily, a lot of other people like my taste as well. EXPLAIN THE USAGE OF VOODOO ON YOUR TEE’S I’m cursed with some sort of voodoo spell. I’m sure if it. That’s why it comes up here and there in my work.
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WHERE DO THE QUOTES ON YOUR SHIRTS COME FROM? AND What do they generally mean? They are quotes and notes from the inside of my skull. Sometimes they mean a lot, to me, sometimes they mean nothing and just look good in combination with the picture. A lot of people take what’s written on it and feel a different meaning with the sayings. That’s the best thing that could happen, it becomes theirs’. WILL THIS BRAND EXPAND FROM TEESHIRTS TO MORE? SUCH AS JACKETS OR EVEN PANTS? Yes! We are now starting with sweatshirts. Next month we are presenting even more different items. YOU SEEM TO HAVE HAD A GOAL, A DREAM EVEN AND FOLLOWED IT AND NOW YOU HAVE SEVERAL RETAILERS AND WEB-SHOPS, WHAT ARE YOUR REFLECTIONS ON YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS? I don’t know really. Somedays I can think, just for a minute or so, “shit, I really achieved something.” Then that feeling disappears and I start to think that this is nothing, I am 20 years old and it’s now that the hard work begins. And that keeps me going.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO THOSE WITH A DREAM SUCH AS YOURS? That nothing is impossible. Want something? Go and get it. The one who wins it all is not the person who is necessarily the best. It’s the person who wants it the most. There is always somebody who’s going to be smarter, hotter and better at everything you think you’re good at but no one can take from you the fact that you want it the most. It’s a power stronger than anything else. I HAVE TO ASK, WHAT WAS IT THAT CAUSED YOU TO CHOOSE MY PHOTO FOR YOUR PERSONAL COLLECTION? I liked the fact that you’re laying there dead. And you look like a guy who might like disco so I immediately got the “Disco can Cause Death” in my mind and then it was done. ANY FUTURE PROJECTS IN MIND THAT YOU WANT TO LET SKLTN IN ON? Keep a look-out for Leopard Magazine. ■
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email me : skltnm