Inspired by sentimentality and love, Mexican fashion designer Barbara Sanchez-Kane is on a mission to create clothes for a muse she has dubbed the “Macho Sentimental.” The Macho Sentimental can be someone of any gender; any individual who is in touch with their emotions. It is out of that space that Sanchez-Kane creates her innovative, unique designs that take inspiration from both high fashion couture and Mexican streetwear.
Sanchez-Kane recently collaborated with Nike on their The Force is Female project and hosted a pop-up in Los Angeles in late November. INTO caught up with the queer designer to talk about the philosophy guiding her inspired menswear line.
What does “Macho Sentimental” mean to Barbara Sanchez-Kane? Is there a safe way for queer women to be masculine without embracing the toxic parts of masculinity?
- A human being of either sex; a person. Strongly influenced by
emotional feelings and in contact with male and female forces.
synonymous: human being, human, person, mortal,
individual, personage, soul.
I think we need more education – that is the main problem with the toxic part of masculinity. That is derived in aggressiveness and violent response as we have been taught that masculinity is associated with these terms that need to be broken.
You are a lesbian fashion designer who makes menswear. Do you think the phrase “menswear” is outdated now since people of all genders wear what is considered “men’s” or “women’s” clothes?
Sanchez-Kane started as a menswear brand. I use the term menswear just as a marketing strategy in sizing purpose, but as I say, we dress the Macho Sentimental.
You used to live in Los Angeles where you interned for German designer Bernhard Willhelm. Do you see his influence on your work or the experience of having lived in Los Angeles in your clothes?
Well, my first collection Citizen Sanchez-Kane was designed based on an old love relationship I had during my time in LA. So yes all experiences and places influence my work.
You’ve created pieces in your fashion line that were inspired/for your mother and in your pop-up in Los Angeles, your mother was there to assist you with the event. You also have an alter-ego called “SOLRAC,” which your father’s name spelled backward. How does your relationship with your parents inform your work?
I couldn’t have built SANCHEZ-KANE without the support of my parents.
Family is the main pillar of my education and will continue to be a presence in the brand. I am so blessed to share all the growth of the brand with them.
You publish love poems and journal entries on your Instagram signed with the name “SOLRAC.” The graphics on your clothes feature phrases such as “Mexikanemicorazon” and “Freelance Lover,” along with “Macho Sentimental.” Is Sanchez-Kane a brand for queer romantics?
I am a sentimental romantic 100 percent guided by my inner feelings. I found in clothing the best way to deal with my problems good and bad ones. Is therapeutic and a way of living. Women have always been the starting point to create a world where all the misfits are welcome to join.
All photos by Navi.