tumblr_nlkun5tmfn1qjbq6yo1_r1_500Dolores del Rio

In the 1920s and ’30s, Mexican-born actress Dolores del Rio was an icon. Marlene Dietrich even called the first major Latina crossover star “the most beautiful woman to ever set foot in Hollywood.” While other actresses were sporting cupid bow-shaped lips and thin brows, del Rio was already ahead of the curve bold brows and structured suits. 1940s fashion icon Joan Crawford was said to be influenced by Dolores’ style, and in 1952, she received the Neiman Marcus Award for best dressed woman in America.


Photo courtesy of Messy Nessy

Frida Kahlo

Revered for her art, Mexicana Frida Kahlo was just as vibrant and influential in her style. She lived in floral crowns, wraps, maxi skirts, bold accessories, an even bolder unibrow, and lots of print and color. It was the uniform of a bold Latina–proud of her roots–who didn’t follow the rules, because she made her own. Las Apariencias Enganan: Los Vestidos de Frida Kahlo/Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo is currently showing at the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City.

Photo courtesy of Citizen Screen

Photo courtesy of Citizen Screen

Celia Cruz

Celia’s style was puro Azucar! Another Latina that salsaed to the beat of her own drum, the Cubana understood the importance of having a strong stage presence. The superstar–who won three Grammys, four Latin Grammys, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award this year–donned colorful wigs that complimented already-elaborate stage costumes. Think ruffles, feathers, and sequins, with shoes that seemed to defy gravity as a finishing touch.

efd43621af777116f4f381873da882abMaria Felix

Felix wearing her Cartier necklace and earrings, Photo courtesy of ARThound

Known as “La Doña,” and La Diva de Mexico, Maria Felix was the femme fatale star of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema (1939-1959), and a contemporary of Dolores del Rio. Considered by many to be “the most beautiful face in the history of Mexican cinema,” Felix was dressed by Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Hermès and more. In 1984, Felix was nominated in France and Italy as one of the best-dressed women in the world. Her dramatic style and out-of-the-box thinking led to an alleged visit to Cartier in Paris with a baby alligator in a fishbowl, with the result being the iconic necklace (which could also be worn as two bracelets) worn above. In 2006, Cartier honored Maria Felix with the La Doña Collection.

Photo courtesy of Nerds in Suits

Photo courtesy of Nerds in Suits

Bianca Jagger

You know you have style when you outshine Mick Jagger. Nicaragüense Bianca Jagger was a Studio 54 regular, and the dance floor wouldn’t have been the same without her. Besides personifying ‘70s-disco-glam style (wearing designers like Halston), who else was going to arrive at the nightclub on her birthday riding a white horse? Equally white were her signature pantsuits; other key looks included sexy draped dresses, and edgy head wear.

Who Is Your Favorite Latina Style Icon?

By V. Alexandra de F.Szoenyi, Style & Beauty Editor