With Hispanic Heritage Month coming to a close, we thought it was time to talk about some Latinx and Hispanic creators to follow tomorrow and beyond. To compile this list, we dug into some of our favorite IG follows, artists, chefs, and spirits makers to find the young Hispanic folks who are blazing a new path in 2022 and beyond by up-ending the old for something new and fresh.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of Hispanic creators who excite us. These are the Hispanic thought leaders that we think you should give a follow and maybe even support by donating to their causes, buying their fashion, or amplifying to show support. The throughline between all of these young creators is that they’re pushing the line and doing something interesting in each of their respective fields.
Let’s dive in and find some cool Hispanic creators to celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month!
Up And Coming Filmmaker — Steve Vasquez
Black-Mexican filmmaker Steve Vasquez grew up in a world where choosing one heritage over the other was often forced upon him by his external environment. For most of the world, he could be Black or he could be Mexican. He couldn’t be both. But as he came into his own, Vasquez realized that was bullshit because he never felt like just one thing — so why would he adhere to it? His experience was his and it informed how he carried himself through life and into becoming one of the most interesting burgeoning filmmakers working online today.
“I try to tap into that shared experience,” Vasquez tells us when talks about living in the world as a Black-Mexican American. “Having lived in two worlds and felt those worlds every day helps me when I’m directing people. I can help whoever is in front of the camera find themselves creatively and then express that.”
That POV comes through in Vasquez’s most recent work capturing UPROXX’s Fresh Pair where street kicks meet at the intersection of streetwear and hip-hop. There’s a sense of Vasquez’s own mantra throughout the show that, like him, “nothing is a monolith,” which he states proudly when talking about making Fresh Pair and Uproxx’s People’s Party with Talib Kweli.
The Youngest Maestra Ronera in the Rum Industry — Jassil Villanueva Quintana
Jassil Villanueva Quintana grew up with the history of rum and the Brugal rum dynasty as her childhood bedtime stories. To say that rum flows through her veins would be an understatement though. Yes, Quintana is a descendant of the Brugal rum family, but she’s also spent the majority of her life refining her palate, skills, and knowledge about rum and everything around rum.
Quintana was also the first female member of her family to achieve the title of “Maestra Ronera.” She’s also Brugal’s youngest master blender as well, having gained the title when she was only 32. All of which is a huge step forward into the future for the Dominican Republic rum brand and the industry in general. One of Quintana’s first releases celebrated the history and beauty of the rum she grew up with. The Papá Andrés blend is a 1,000-bottle super rare release that highlights the depth of the brand’s rum-making skills.
The “History Of Los Angeles” Curator — Lee Diaz
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Lee Diaz is a multi-generational Angeleno. His love for his family’s home city runs deep and is steeped in Latinx/Hispanic heritage. That deep-seated adoration led Diaz to start a project that has gained massive popularity and won several awards for its look back at the history of Los Angeles. Diaz puts it more eloquently, “History can teach us so much, help us learn from past triumphs and missteps, and encourage us to imagine and dream just a little bit.”
Diaz’s “History of LA” Instagram page looks like a feed full of black-and-white imagery at first glance. Taking a closer look, you’ll start to spot long-running themes of the construction of Los Angeles, cultural events, sports, old Hollywood, the oil industry, major events, and everyday life. Going even deeper, Diaz offers a historical perspective of each image with detailed descriptions and context that brings every image to life in 2022. With the help of and partnership with LA Public Library, USC Digital Library, and Huntington Library and the quality of the research behind it (cited in every post), that keen eye for great photography and story-telling makes Diaz one of the great modern curators working today.
Cutting Edge Fashion Icon — Bárbara Sánchez-Kane
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Based in Mexico City, Bárbara Sánchez-Kane is living in a fashion space that eschews the norm for the ethereal. Sánchez-Kane as a designer and boutique set out to bend classic Hispanic gender norms of “masculine” and “feminine” through a prism of Cronenbergian sexuality, Indigenous futurism, and poly-gender Latin/Hispanic identity.
While Sánchez-Kane is a fashion house headed by Bárbara Sánchez-Kane, there’s a sense of the designs as more of political and gender art than pure high fashion. The message of Bárbara Sánchez-Kane’s fashion is the point as it leans from the surreal to the mundane through busy lines, pan-sexuality, and exposure of the human body in cheeky and sometimes dark ways.
Awarding-Winning Afro-Latinx Pastry Chef — Paola Velez
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Paola Velez worked her way from home baking to become one of the most respected pastry chefs in the world by 2020. Before the pandemic hit, Velez was the executive pastry chef at DC’s famed and now-closed Kith & Kin. She was also nominated for the James Beard Best Rising Star Pastry Chef award in 2020.
Since then, Velez has been baking to make the entire industry a better and more inclusive place through the co-founding of Bakers Against Racism. The non-profit is a place where bakers can lead the way in social change, raising funds, and supporting those in need. At the same time, Velez has been working with the DC bakery pop-up Doña Dona to create amazing confections that bridge her Afro-Latin heritage while also supporting progressive projects in the local area.