Have you heard the latest chisme? Two North Houston women have designed their own clothing line that celebrates their culture and their fashion sense.
It's a fashion shoot in a not-so-fashionable place. North Houston isn't known for its high-end clothing. But people here embrace its low-rent lifestyle.
“A friend said, ‘Y’all are like Boujetto. Like Bouji and ghetto put together.’ I guess that kind of makes sense, because it’s not ugly, but people think badly of the northside,” said Karla Dominguez, co-owner of Mija Cultura.
Dominguez and Joann Alvarez are the co-owners of Mija Cultura clothing. They used to sell merchandise for others. Then a year ago, they decided to go into business for themselves.
“At first we were kind of nervous, because we were like, ‘Oh, my gosh. We’re selling our culture, we’re selling our lifestyle, and what's the feedback we're going to get? A lot of it has been positive,” Alvarez said.
Mija Cultura is made for Latinas from all walks who want to celebrate their roots. So what -- or who -- is a “mija?”
“If you want to celebrate our culture and kind of relate to our brand,” Dominguez said. “And you want to wear a shirt where you can style it down or style it up any way you want, pretty much that’s who a mija is.”
Dominguez is a first-generation Mexican-American. Alvarez is fifth generation. While they grew up in different cultures, when it comes to clothing, they're cut from the same cloth.
They found plenty of non-Latinos speaking their language.
“They ask us questions like, ‘What does chisme mean?’ So that means gossip. That shirt blew up overnight. People started reposting, retweeting, liking it. It's been successful since that shirt,” Alvarez said.
So what if you’re a guy like me who loves the cultura, but isn't a mija? No te preocupas, mijo. Now there's a line for you.
Nicole Perez says guys are getting in on the game, giving the mijas emotional support.
“It says, ‘Attention, sad mija hotline is a network of local mijitos center. We provide confidential support for the mijas triste y estresadas,” Perez explained while looking at one shirt.
Mija Cultura started selling their wares in pop up shops at events around Houston. Now online sales are coming from in from Los Angeles to New York.
The mijas say the plan is to keep their customer base growing.
“People come up to us and are asking us, ‘Do you have my size?’ We cater to the thick girls, so we cater to anyone,” Alvarez said.
If you're interested in joining the Mija Cultura revolution, you can check out the line here.