Mex and the City is a cultural website and blog created to promote the free thinking, enterprising, and artistic efforts of young creatives in New York City. The site reflects a community of tastemakers, trendsetters, and culture mavens who have access and connections to the city’s key movers and shakers, fashion designers, gallerists, boutique shops owners, restauranteurs, hoteliers, media executives, and philanthropists.
The collaborative project was created by a group of friends—Iris Avelar, Marina Garcia-Vasquez & Ruby Vizcarra—from diverse backgrounds in fashion, editorial, public relations and hospitality passionate about art, travel, culture, and nightlife. M&TC speaks about the increasing Mexican culture in the fast-paced New York landscape in a fun and personal tone.
Working to develop the best sense of self.
Working to be successful at what we do.
Working hard to play hard.
Mex and the City and photographer Carlos Alvarez Montero recently joined forces to present Racial Profiling, a portrait series highlighting prominent and influential Mexicans in New York City. The title speaks to the heady issue of the mixed race and the multicultural experience that makes up a contemporary Mexican identity.
The ladies collectively nominated an inaugural group of profiles based on their charisma as leaders in their field and for their experience and contributions to a greater New York. The group ranges from hotelier, jewelry designer, producer, web designer, restaurant owner, interior designer, writer/editor, artist, photographer, gallery owner, etc, etc.
The unique and inspiring project is up now on the Mex and the City site.
Below, the ladies get intimate with us via the handwritten surveys below!
Q&A time with the ladies of Mex and the City!
M.I.S.S.: What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?
MARINA: Joan Didion, the great American journalist and novelist she was the first woman journalist to be accepted by the old-boys club of world politicians and presidents. She used her demure looks to get her in. And the indigenous Guatemalan revolutionary, Rigoberta Menchu.
IRIS: Growing up I looked up to “La Doña” Maria Felix an icon of the Mexican Golden era of Cinema in the 40’s. She was the example of a strong independent woman of her time, you can say she is to Mexico what Bette Davis is to the US. My ultimate is Coco Chanel she was a self-made woman who built her name with dignity and elegance.
RUBY: Frida Kahlo – for her passion, her fight, her amazing style, and her endless love for Diego.
M.I.S.S.: You each have different professions from being a restaurateur, writer/editor and fashion producer. How did you meet?
MARINA: Iris and I met in San Francisco when we were both working for Planet magazine, she was in business development and I was an editor. Ruby and I met through friends one summer in Barcelona. Ruby was living and studying there for school. When I moved to New York, Iris and I became roommates. Ruby and I reconnected when she moved from Barcelona to NYC. We then became a rat pack so to speak. We admire each other and we make each other laugh.
M.I.S.S.: What inspired Mex And the City?
MARINA: Mex and the City was inspired by everyday run-ins with people who seemed to ask 100 and one questions about Mexican culture and ethnicity. I found that I kept getting the same questions and repeating the same answers. Being Mexican in New York is definitely not the same as being Mexican in California. I decided that a blog would be the best way to disseminate information and I knew that I didn’t want to do it alone so I asked the girls if they would join me. I figured since we each came from various industries we could really touch on those cornerstones. The blog initially was to show how much access the three of us had in our downtown universe. If we three Mexican girls could make it in NYC, others could as well. We wanted to show how the world could open up for you with determination and strong work ethic. We really believe being Mexican has everything to do with it, using what our mama’s showed us! You know good solid foundations.
M.I.S.S.: What is your goal for Mex And the City? Do you have any projects lined up?
Our goal with Mex and the City is to create a community. We love that the content resonates with people locally, nationally, and internationally. We would like to build out that community to unexpected cities that are burgeoning with Mexican communities. And yes we have plenty of collaborations in mind and in planning. We are definitely looking forward to the World Cup festivities.
M.I.S.S.: What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on?
Working with the photographer Carlos Alvarez Montero on our “Racial Profiling” series has been an incredible honor. Carlos is an exceptional human being with great academic and emotional intelligence. We found that our goals with the editorial package were definitely in sync. We wanted to show the world how rich our Mexican experience is, that being Mexican comes in a variety of colors and experiences. It was our goal to show Mexican creatives in beautiful light and to promote their endeavors with the rest of the world.
M.I.S.S.: Who do you want to work with in the future?
We always want to work with creative and brilliant young professionals. We want to work with brands that get what we are doing, TOMS shoes, Converse, Jumex, Novamex, Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Brand, Vice, and fashion collabs, from our own t-shirt’s to working with photographers/editorials, etc. on something fashion!
M.I.S.S.: Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career path similar to yours?
MARINA: Follow your passions. The three of us are doing what we love best, Iris with hospitality, Ruby with fashion, and me in editorial. The blog is a lot of work but it is extremely rewarding. Life is hectic and challenging anyway so you better enjoy how you spend your time and who you spend your time with.
IRIS: Find creativeness in everything you do and it will keep you motivated. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, it’s ok to start doing odd jobs here or there as long as you can take all those experiences and skills and apply them to your dream job!
RUBY: Dream big, go big and never give up. It will happen.
Thanks so much ladies!
For more info on the ladies and their amazing projects, visit the links below:
Note: The Mex and the City logo was designed by Tanya Avelar—Iris’s sister!
- Friday 9/16 Mexican IndepenDANCE Party @ Public Assembly NYC
- 1925-1940 Paris/New York Design Exhibit
- Women Making History: Shannon Sinclair
- Contest: Be a Fashion Stylist at Nolcha Fashion Week: New York
- Women Making History: Ruby Veridiano Ching