The first time Patty Delgado tried on her hand-embellished denim jacket—a colorful sequined patch of la Virgen de Guadalupe adorning the back—she knew she’d created something powerful.
“Wearing the jacket was so special and had so much meaning in regards to my own identity. So I just knew that if I felt this close to this particular jacket, other like-minded folks would feel the same way,” she says.
Delgado was right. Not only was her “Virgincita” jacket immediately celebrated for its eye-catching design, it quickly became a personal and public manifestation of cultural pride for the Latinx community.
Now just a year and a half after creating that first jacket, the L.A. native runs a full-time business selling her signature denim under the brand name Hija de tu Madre, with a newly minted showroom nestled in Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights.
Born in Boyle Heights and raised mostly in the Inland Empire, Delgado never expected to design her own fashion line or run her own business. But after graduating from UCLA in 2013 with a degree in religious studies, she found herself dipping in and out of various digital-branding and web-design gigs for fashion brands.
These jobs, though seemingly random at the time, equipped Delgado with the skills and experience she needed to eventually launch her own line.
She attributes much of the success of Hija de tu Madre to the supportive community she cultivated on Instagram. Armed with a product she knew would resonate with people, Delgado created an account and watched her following boom seemingly overnight. “It all happened so abruptly. I can’t event describe it all. I guess this is my calling,” she laughs.
But the success of her brand isn’t based in luck or chance or even her knack for digital branding. What makes Hija de tu Madre tick is Delgado’s authentic exploration of the Latinx identity, with all its complexities proudly on display.
“Hija de tu Madre caters to Latinx who bravely question everything, while reconciling our complicated history, culture, and identity. The shop and blog are for muxeres who unapologetically represent their colorful culture as we try to make sense of two seemingly opposing identities,” she writes on the brand’s site.
It’s also Delgado’s dedication to listening to what her audience wants that makes the brand feel so personal. “They wanted a Frida Kahlo jacket, so I made a Frida Kahlo jacket. I base the designs off the symbols and imagery people ask for that also align with my vision.”
Fostering this hyper-attentive relationship with her audience has created a strong ethos of inclusivity, an idea that sits at the core of Hija de tu Madre. Delgado is pushing to create a brand that’s firm in its identity yet fluid and open to change.
“I realized I was only really representing Chicanx culture by only creating jackets with distinctly Mexican imagery and symbols, so I recently dropped a new collection with a bunch of different Latin American flags,” she says. “I find inspiration from my culture—images and symbols that mean something to my identity—and I’m finding ways that I can make other people feel represented. I want people to feel seen and heard. That’s something that I’m always trying to be conscious of. How can I create more community while still being true to my own vision and my own artistic taste? I think that’s what I’m constantly trying to transmit: my art plus creating community.”
While the new showroom is currently appointment-only, Delgado hopes that the space will give way to a more personal and physical display of community gathering.
“I really want it to be somewhat of a community space,” she explains. “It’s very small, but I’d really like for it to serve women in our community by hosting workshops that are about building skills and skill-sharing—kind of providing our community with tools to grow their business online and just sharing my knowledge and my experience with people here who could really use the information to keep their small businesses growing.”