El Sereno native turns to fashion as a creative and emotional outlet

René Camarillo | Photo courtesy René Camarillo/Boyle Heights Beat


EL SERENO —  A gasp went through the crowd as four men ­–arms dipped in black ink– dropped red roses and stomped on them, leaving the flowers in frayed disarray.

The scene happened last July in front of about 80 people at the Reef in downtown Los Angeles, site of René Camarillo’s third fashion show. His designs showcased gender neutrality, as all items were menswear pieces with feminine touches. The 23-year-old designer described the collection as an ode to the LGBT community.

“The roses represent difficult love,” Camarillo said. “To step on and crush the rose meant a difficult sexuality and love life.”

Raised in the El Sereno neighborhood, Camarillo was influenced by his affection for and connection to the Eastside. While suffering from self-harm, he found an outlet for his pain in fashion.

Read the full story in Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth and a sister website with stories also produced by community members “por y para la comunidad.”

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