Infuse was recently given the opportunity to interview Toronto based designer, Chris Barrera. Barrera, who was born in Mexico, takes opportunities and inspirations he sees in Toronto and uses them as creations for his designs.

          In Mexico, Barrera was focused on the day to day, but as soon as he arrived in Canada, something inside of him snapped. He knew he could not waste any more time, and this was the beginning of his career in fashion design.

          Like many up and coming designers, breaking into the fashion industry was difficult for Barrera. As a self-taught designer, he had to find his niche and figure out what styles worked best for him.

          “The first thing I remember I did was to get my business registration,” said Barrera. “It was a big thing for me because I felt like [by getting the business registration] I was already in [the fashion industry]. I didn’t know what was going to happen later, but that was in the beginning.”

          The big step for Barrera, and any other brand is the name. When asked about the inspiration behind the name LOCO ONE, he replied by saying it means crazy one. He wanted his name to include his first language in a way that everyone could understand. The name also represents the initial reaction to his venture into fashion. Many thought he was crazy, but that never stopped Barrera.

          Before embarking on his fashion adventure, Barrera was into the art scene. From painting classes to architecture. Barrera wasn’t exactly sure what his future plans were after he graduated high school, but the fashion industry called to him.

          Once Barrera decided to make his move into the fashion industry, many were scared of the risk he was taking.  “If you don’t get good support or guidance, you might just drop stuff that you might be good at because you want to please people,” but this never stopped him from fulfilling his dream. “You don’t have to please people, you only have to please yourself and do what you love.”

 

          Lots of hard work later, Barrera released his collection titled “Revolution”. When asked about the meaning behind the name he said there were two. Firstly, it was inspired by his own revolution. Barrera also said, “my clothes are an expression of that change [happening in the world right now.]” Adding, “the shift from the old way of thinking, to what is happening right now. We are willing to see things differently.”

 

          One of the changes Barrera is referencing is the idea of gender. “I see a lot of people, myself included, wearing what girls wear and vice versa.” Barrera envisions a world where you can go to a store without a “mens” or “womens” section. “[Gender neutral clothing] makes you feel comfortable.” This ties into his passion to design for the times. “We are heading to that point where gender doesn’t matter.”

          After launching his website just before Christmas, Barrera faced a setback. “I was expecting a little response [to the site], but I got zero.” During this time he was reminded of an ad he saw on Instagram for Fashion Art Toronto (FAT), and decided to go for it. He applied, and got in. He described the show as an amazing experience. “It was a lot of fun, doing the casting, and you get to meet all these amazing people.”

          Chris Barrera is an inspiring, down to earth fashion designer that will bring this industry forward. Breaking his own boundaries, and pursuing his fashion design despite how “loco” people thought he was. As well as breaking boundaries within the industry. His modern, non gender conforming garments preview the way of the future.

Written by: Alexandra Sempie

Interview conducted by: Deanna Thayer

Interview Team: Tess Morgan and Victoria Jewett

Photography by Oyan Vossel

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