HOW GROWING UP IN DOWNTOWN LA INFLUENCED HOODYBABYLA'S STYLE AND CREATIVE ENERGY
Whats your ‘downtown girl’ fashion story?
‘Well, I grew up all over Los Angeles and ended up in the North East Valley which is where San Fernando is. I grew up really poor in a single parent household and didn’t have a lot of money to buy new clothing. I frequented a ‘swap-meet’ from a very young age. I remember how I would save up all my coins and go buy dirt cheap clothing there. One thing led to another and I began to reconstruct items I had bought and created my very own shop with all of that as a base. I created a style through the years. Thrifting and reconstruction became my thing. It’s very important to me to keep those components as a creator.’
What makes it different compared to others?
‘The only thing I can think of that makes myself and shop different is that we really, really care about our planet. We take things people deem as trash and completely turn them around to a new idea. In my case this came from personal experience when I didn’t have much to begin with. I think growing up with that made me see that I don’t need to have much, I can create from what I have.
Do you think growing up in your area has grounded you in ways other people don’t have?
‘I don’t know about being more grounded but I would say it has made me so proud of who I am. Being proud has made me able to create my own style and proudly express in ways that I wouldn’t if I wasn’t from here.’
Has it made your style more eclectic and unique?
‘Yes! Like I said, I feel that it has completely changed how I view fashion and how I view creating as well. I come from a background of scarcity and that made me find ways to be creative since I can’t just buy into creativity. I’ve always had to thrift ever since I can remember. Doing that from an early age gave me so many ideas. I feel like I’ve seen soooo much clothing through my life.’
How do you stick to your roots when it comes to styling?
‘I honestly try to not buy into trends so much. It’s hard because watching runway shows makes so many things appealing. It makes you want to try each new thing that comes out there. The way I really stick to my roots is by remembering that new isn’t necessarily good. What I mean by this is that I always come back to thrifted, reworked ways of styling. In my eyes it’s just so much better for earth as a whole. There’s always a way to make something look interesting without contributing to fast fashion.’
How do you think your upbringing and background has influenced your fashion sense?
‘It’s been massively influenced by the music and culture that revolves around where I’m from. I grew up with hip-hip being my main music identity and I still love it so much to this day. I absorbed so much inspiration from hip-hop fashion growing up. Being Latino and from Honduras has also been an influence as I was also always around Hispanic inspiration. Whether it was on television or the streets, I got a real sense of real street Hispanic style.’
How has this intertwined with what you sell on your shop?
‘100%. I only sell thrifted found items or items I have reworked. I don’t sell new items at all for these reasons.’
What are the biggest trends in San Fernando right now?
‘I wouldn’t say there are any crazy trends at the moment because even here in LA, people are very scared to try new things. Believe it or not only the more art motivated people are the ones pushing the fashion forward. They’re the only ones who dare wear a real fit on a normal day.’
What does your community have when it comes to style and fashion that others don’t?
‘What we have that others don’t, are resources. We have places to thrift that are very large and promising. If you’re down to look for things you can really find gems all over LA.’
Is there anything you wish San Fernando had in light of fashion?
‘I wish there was more courage here. I feel like people are scared to try new things. I would love for people to come out of their comfort zones more.’
How did you get to where you are now?
‘I don’t necessarily think I’m the specific place I want to be but I will say that putting in the work and thrifting through all these years has really helped me learn a crazy amount about clothing and fashion which in turn, has helped push my Depop shop.’
Do you think there are any stigmas attached to this kind of lifestyle and look?
‘Yes I do. I think that a couple of years ago people might have found these styles flashy and ‘ghetto’. All in a degrading way of course. Thanks to things like Instagram, there’s a sense of a new found respect for certain styles and clothing that wasn’t found before. Luckily, even if people personally don’t try certain styles they still find a way to respect them now.’
How do you tackle this?
‘I’ve always just tried really hard to be myself and to disregard negative feedback when it comes to ways of expressing oneself. I really think there isn’t a wrong or right way to do it so I just do it my own way.’
What is one thing you have learnt throughout your life and how have you implied it into your own personal style?
‘Taking real care for what you do is the one thing that always comes to mind. Whether it’s because of our responsibility to recycle items or it be artistic expression that we’re speaking about, it’s always important to truly care and be passionate about what you do. I really believe there should be a real reason.’
What is the best thing about your ‘hood’ style?
‘The best thing I can find about my style is that it is real. I love the fact that this is what it became after so many years. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I see trends and follow fashion so much but it always come back to my own style as being my favourite. When you create something for yourself, you enjoy it a lot more because it’s personal.’