As a child my mother used to warn me about the cholos, the big bad wolves, around our neighborhood. Living on La Mariposa in Los Angeles circa 1989, being a cholo wasn’t a fad, it was a lifestyle. From my porch, I watched older kids decked out with pressed extra sharp gear. Badass dudes and females looking tough, but also accessorized to the fullest. Males rocking either shaved heads, buzz cuts or shiny slick backed hair. Their uniforms consisted of pressed 501 jeans, Dickies or sweatpants on the bottom. The tops were either a wife beater for the summer heat or a crew neck pull over sweatshirt for cooler temperatures. Color coded bandanas to make sure other vatos knew what barrio they where from and what crew they rolled with. Most of these guys grew up catholic, so these cats would roll to church dressed to impress! I always saw them and loved their confidence and loyalty to rituals and customs.
I took the big bad wolf my mother warned me about and twisted it into the Big Bold Cholo. A collection with a mix of boxy silhouettes made from bright neoprene and playful mesh that showcases heavily tattooed body parts. Their faith is what I decided I needed to pay homage to. I embroidered the Virgin Mary, the mother of all good or bad, onto certain sections of some pieces.