Victor Barragán’s guide to Mexico City
Everything you need to know from Mexico’s hottest designer.
Victor Barragán is leading the charge of Latinx creatives coming to fashion right now – notable for co-ed designs and a new, inclusive take on sexy. Hailing from Mexico City, the 28-year-old currently has his autumn collection debuted in a gallery designed in part by cult Mexican modernist Luis Barragán – no relation.
Mixing clubwear and graphic tees, including one reading “Daddy, I had a bad dream!” worn by a bear of a man, each design is a street ready classic. While he now lives in Brooklyn, Barragán remains a proud Chilango.
Here he shares his thoughts on Mexico City, places to visit, what to eat and the people to know.
Where did you grow up in Mexico City?
Villa Coapa and Postal. When I go back, the first place I go is Postal to see my family, and Colonia Del Valle where my dad has his Taqueria. Espaldilla [pork shoulder] is my favourite.
What makes the city special?
The surrealism and the rawness of the locals and the neighbourhoods. People own the streets, and everyone does what they want.
Why did you show your collection in Mexico City?
We have been showing autumn collections in Mexico City for the past two years. This season, we showed at the Museo Experimental el Eco, a contemporary art gallery in the centre of the city. The building was designed by sculptor Mathias Goeritz, a Mexican artist of German origin, who worked closely with the Mexican architect Luis Barragán.
Are you related to Luis Barragán?
I wish. Luis born in Michoacán, the same as my dad, but unfortunately we are not related.
Is there a bigger community of designers and creatives in the city? What other names are coming up?
I feel it’s growing up at this moment and I’m really excited and happy to be part of it and collaborate with so many of them. I would particularly highlight brands Azzma and Ditzy, and artists Andy Medina and Samuel Guerrero, Sistema 8.
Where do you always recommend that friends visit?
My dad’s Taqueria, Mercado de Jamaica (flower market), the Fuente de Tláloc fountain in Chapultepec (a park twice as big as Central Park), Museo Rufino Tamayo and Tacos de Mixiote in Colonia Juárez.
Where is your favourite place to eat, and what do you order?
Mi Gusto Es is my favourite place for seafood. There are so many around the city but the original in Colonia Narvarte is the best in my opinion.
What are your favourite areas to hang out in?
Villa Coapa is the south of the city, big green areas to hang out and the neighbourhoods are big in terms of a community. Tepito is taken up by the colourful Tianguis, a traditional open-air market. Tepito’s economy has been linked to the Tianguis since pre-Hispanic times. I like downtown centro for the history side of the city and different types of districts divided into food, fabric, tools, plastics, toys, schools, witchcraft etc.
What are some secret spots off the tourist trail?
The market, Tianguis ‘El Salado’. It’s open Wednesday and Sundays, and it’s insane – huge. Just don’t get too deep if you are not paying attention. Don’t wear gold chains etc, and try not to use your phone while you are there, locas don’t like pictures. Spread your cash in all your pockets. They have three general sections that I will say are the most interesting; freshly stolen antiques, bootlegs from foreign brands and paca, secondhand clothing. You can also drink Micheladas (spicy Mexican beer) inside the market.
What’s your favourite bar?
La Faena. Whats interesting is the fucked up decoration of a matador – a little homoerotic, a little toxic-masculinity. There’s a big diversity across gender, ages, sexual preference, socio-economic income etc. Everyone can share tables and play music on a jukebox.
Which galleries do you always check out?
Salón Silicón is the most exciting.They are bringing up the conversation on art and diverse sexual identities as well as the importance of women in local art. I loved their show about replicating famous art pieces under the name galerias similares, lo mismo pero mas barato which translates to ‘similar galleries, the same but cheaper.’
Kurimanzutto is iconic for contemporary art in Mexico. They had the opportunity to show a global audience the value and talent of emerging artists. They built bridges when it was harder to find them.
Ladrón is a gallery and curatorial space that gives rise to ideas that would hardly happen anywhere else. They have a biennial of the pipe, for weed, an annual exhibition in which they receive pieces that can be posted on a wall from anyone who wants to participate. The last thing I heard from them was a Valentina sauce installation.
What are the places that will tell visitors the most about Mexico City?
Centro (Downtown). It has a lot of history from the Pre-Columbian era before and after colonisation. Templo Mayor are the ruins next to Catedral, a Catholic Church, the symbol of colonialism in the city. The clash in this area is impressive.