About eight years ago, mainstream companies suddenly realized that there are a lot of Latinas in the United States and oh my god, we actually buy shit. Though we are a vast and deeply complicated bunch who cannot be easily enticed—more complex than a Rubik's Cube or Sudoku—marketers continue to attempt to crack the market like it's a code. One way to do this is to partner up with people we care about; the latest in this cunning scheme is a Thalia line with Macy's in which the Mexican superstar stamps a range of clothing, jewelry, and accessories with her very recognizable name.
WWD reported the news about the collaboration, and writer David Moin hit on just about every reductive stereotype imaginable:
That next hot item — it might very well be Thalia's leopard jumpsuit for Macy's.
It's cougar-ish, a bit familiar, and Thalia Sodi makes it modern. "Tommy loves that jumpsuit," said Thalia, the Mexican songstress, soap star and wife of music mogul Tommy Mottola. "Maybe it's the fact that you are all covered up and it shows just a little skin. It's sexy. There's some kind of wildness."
Sounds like she's describing herself.
Thalia is bringing her sultry Latina style and effusive personality to mainstream...
...blah blah blah AY PAPI, TÚ ME HACES MUY CALIENTE! SABOR LATINOOOOOO
But it's actually great that Thalia is the name and face behind what Macy's president Jeffrey Gennette says is the "biggest private-brand launch in the history of our company by a long shot," and of course they will target American cities and states with the highest concentration of Latinas. That last point underscores that, of course, it's all about the bottom line, and illustrates why a large swathe of Latinas have been cynical about these attempts to appeal to "our market" as our populations increase: they always feel more like segregation than actual attempts to give a shit. As WWD reports, Macy's has not yet "targeted" the "Latin American community," and that K-Mart and Kohl's have "a head start" because of their collaborations with Sofia Vergara and Daisy Fuentes.
The WWD piece admits as much—that it's about getting into our pocketbooks, which you know, is capitalism. And the clothes are kinda cute—the WWD writer was right that the Thalia leopard print jumper is great, although:
The jumpsuit's the sizzler, but there's also a spicy, bright red wrap dress with a big gold clasp that Thalia wears with three-ring drop earrings and leopard-print open-toe heels, along with a gold faux-leather moto jacket that she wears over a white top and pants. "They're extensions of my personality and my culture — feminine, sexy, young at heart. The whole line is attitude," said Thalia. "We enjoy life. We have family. We have kids. We are mothers. But we have to have fun. We have to go out and have our margaritas.
Thalia on her "trying to translate a complex existence that is just one out of many Latina narratives across the diaspora to a white man who thinks we are all 'spicy'" shit, no? Feel free to read the rest at WWD, which will hopefully launch WWD for Latinas soon!
Image via Getty.