How Willy Chavarria Won the 2023 American Menswear Designer of the Year Trophy

It was just in September that Willy Chavarria’s Spring 2024 offering, his “most emotional collection” to date, as he described it to Hypebeast, was brought to the runway. The Fresno, California-hailing fashioner has always viewed his design practice as a medium for self-reflection, a platform for building up those who look, see and feel like he does. But what was most special about that Spring 2024 collection was its ability to articulate the different facets of Chavarria’s being: facets that, at one point, felt like barriers to his success in the notoriously exclusive world of fashion.

Chavarria’s powerful, heartfelt interpretation of those historically disadvantaged signifiers — his queerness, his biracial identity as the descendant of an Irish-American mother and a Mexican-American father, and his working-class upbringing among immigrant farmers in California’s San Joaquin Valley — became awe-inspiring for anyone who could see themselves in them. And on the evening of

Read the rest