The feminine is a strong force inside of everyone and so often in society the act of embracing it is continuously suppressed. Superego Clothiers and NYC designer Walter Cruz recently teamed up to create a captivating collection called Les Femmes Sont Au Centre De Tout — Women Are The Center Of Everything. We had a chance to talk to the designer about his inspiration behind the collection, the importance of female energy and why women need to believe that they are #EverydayQueens.
WildSpice Mag: Everyone behind the Les Femmes collection are males yet you decided to create a line where women are the main focus. It´s both amazing and impressive. What was it internally and with what's happening in our current society that made you want to focus on the concept that 'women are the center of everything'?
Walter Cruz: That's a great question. During the summer I went to Ferguson in solidarity with Mike Brown and his family. I wanted to see firsthand what was going down. I discovered that many of the people in the front lines were women. I also understood that throughout history women have always been in the frontline of social and societal movements but never get the proper credit, instead, more often than not, men get the limelight. I began thinking about what I could do to show my appreciation for the women who have and who continue to fight for our freedom as well the women in our day to day lives that we should honor. Serendipitously, Tommie (from SuperEgo Clothiers) contacted me and asked me if I was interested in doing a collab with Superego around the same time. We had a phone conference and boom, Les Femmes was born.
Regarding the actual designs, what influenced you? Can you also specifically tell us about the 'Queens City Map' piece?
WC: I was influenced by the things around me at the time of the collection's conception. I was going to a lot of museums during the late summer and early fall so I had subways and sculptures in my mind. I tried to think of designs that were familiar but never or not often seen. The 'Queens City Map' design is one of those things that once the idea clicks you get into tunnel vision until it's done. Then you take a step back you go "oh shit, I did that?!" Haha. It was an awesome feeling.
It was a way to culminate this idea of appreciation for women within a single design. The Queens Map was a way to highlight women in various fields throughout history in one central location. My thought process was "what if there really was a city that honored women throughout history by naming all of its streets and properties after them?" From there, I ran with it. I appreciate designs that are simple but have a lot of layers to them. That's what I was going for with this. I wanted things that were recognizable but upon further inspection had a few things to teach the viewer/customer.
You talk about embracing the female energy inside of everyone. When do you feel as if you are most connected to yours?
WC: Definitely. Female energy is creativity. It's the limitless creativity inside all of us. It's the same way we all have male energy. That energy is what gives our creativity purpose. You can think of it like this, male energy gets us from point A to point B. Female energy is what makes the journey worthwhile. I feel as if I am most connected to my female energy when I get to tap into my creative self. When I pick up paintbrushes, get to design a new project or think of a clever gift to get a loved one.
The movement is called #EverydayQueens. Why do you find it important for females to see themselves as queens, not just on certain occasions, but all the time? What do you hope to ignite with this movement?
WC: I think society does enough to bring women down and destroy their self-esteem. Women deserve to be reminded to say "f*ck you" to the media/society and embrace their inner queen. This is our way of saying "we see you and we love you" to all women. We hope that our movement ignites these thoughts in other men. If other men can see us taking a stance on an issue like the empowerment of all who identify as women, hopefully they will decide to do the same.
Who are some #EverydayQueens in your lives? What women do you look to for inspiration?
WC: Everyday Queens in my life are women like my mother, Romelia, my girlfriend, Eileen, or my grandma Maria. There are also many other women I don't get to see on a daily basis but are definitely everyday queens who inspire me. They work hard and fight for what they believe in everyday. These are the women that I got to know during my trip to Ferguson. Women like Monica Dennis who is the regional coordinator for #BlackLivesMatter in NY/NJ/PHILA, and Brittney Cooper, a powerful academic that puts in work on a daily basis to make this world a better place. These women inspire me daily whether in person or from a distance, I feel lucky to know them.
Lastly, thank you Sienna for the interview and for always believing!