While spicy margaritas and to-die-for tacos are the way many people celebrate Cinco de Mayo aka Mexico's unlikely victory over France in the Battle of Puebla, uber-stylish Chance designer Julia Leach is marking the occasion with fashion—specifically a 19-piece capsule collection inspired by the country.
Made up of her signature striped T-shirts, baja hoodies, beach blankets, pom-pom bags, and festive rose bandanas, the line ranges from $24 for a multicolored keychain to $250 for a feather-trimmed sun hat.
"I first visited Mexico at the age of 5 and it stole my heart," Leach says. "I return to the country again and again for inspiration and relaxation. While many immediately respond to the bright Mexican color palette, for me, it's the sea and its many shades of blue, the muted seashells and rocks along the shoreline, and the jungle that have always been captivating. Many long beach walks, buckets of circular stones, drives through abundantly leafy and verdant landscapes—these are the images and talismans that remain with me year after year."
Several of the accessories, like the striped tote, handwoven scarves, bandana, and keychain were sourced directly from Mexico itself, but Leach collaborated with designer Eliza Gran on the pom-pom festooned bags and milliner Lola Ehrlich on the oversize hats. As for the visor specifically, Leach resolutely says, "It's time to bring the visor back! They're easy to pack and easy to wear—no back brim to worry about when you're reading on a lounge chair—yet it still makes a great statement. They remind me of the great beach editorials that ran in French fashion magazines in the '80s."
Still, it's her tees that are the linchpin of her summer uniform, especially the tie-dye printed styles. "We tested a significant number of samples to get the stripes just right, and I've already had all three colors in regular rotation in my wardrobe," she says. "They dress up quite a bit with white jeans and heels or simply look cool with jean shorts and sandals."