Mexican designer Antonio Zaragoza wanted to give Liberal Youth Ministry a blank slate because he felt that the cycle of constant effervescence had done him and the label no favors.
“I felt like I lost my way,” the designer admitted to WWD from his Guadalajara studio. “Finding yourself and losing yourself is normal. But maybe in an industry that is so quick [that happens] even more often?”
So instead of a blow-out presentation in Paris, he favored filming his youths exploring an abandoned park near Guadalajara, cutting dusty trails around its installations and abandoned statuary.
The collection, titled “Fuego Nuevo” after a purification and renewal Aztec ritual that marked the completion of its 52-year calendar cycle, offered soccer jerseys, punk T-shirts and acid-washed overdyed denims cut in utilitarian shapes. These elements that had been heavily present at the brand’s debut embodied his intention of “simple garments, austere materials” that are what he and his studio team enjoy wearing.
Peppered throughout were slashes, raw edges and hand-tooling, the only elaborations he allowed, along with a few prints that nodded to anime and “Dungeons & Dragons” references.
The season also saw the introduction of a new brand emblem, a three-footed soccer player, and the repatriation of his production to Mexico. With Zaragoza’s willingness to question himself and his business, he won’t be caught wrong-footed, either.