Friday, July 22, 2011

Somos Latinos

I had the wonderful experience and pleasure of seeing Mana in concert for the first time yesterday at the Allstate Arena. What a spiritual event that was! Not only was my soul filled with beautiful music, but also with such inspiration! They played all their major hits and EVERY song had a different visual effect in the background. Beautiful and beyond description.

When they played "Latinoamerica", I lost it. I broke into tears and felt the meaning and words of that song for those few minutes of the song's duration. I looked all around me and everyone was chanting, hands up in the air, smiling from ear to ear and singing the lyrics at the top of their lungs. It was surreal.

When I came home, I had to sit for a second to reflect upon my tears and sudden emotion during that concert. It hit me like a high speed train. I AM Latina. My parents are Latinos. My family and friends are Latinos. I am surrounded daily by people who struggle to make a dent in this country. I was born here, with so many privileges and have forgotten that it is not so easy for everyone else. My parents and the parents of many of my generation have bled, sweat, died trying to make a decent living in the U.S. Yet, here we are, as adults, and the struggle continues.


48.4 million:
The estimated Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2009, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16 percent of the nation's total population. In addition, there are approximately 4 million residents of Puerto Rico, a Caribbean U.S. territory.

Amazing isn't it? But the fight isn't over. Latinos are continuously looked down upon, ridiculed, harassed, hidden and often killed. We as Latinos need to continue to fight, "Luchar", and break the boundaries that separate us from the rest of the country.  

I may not be much but just one person, with one voice, but I still matter. As long as I matter, I will stay on the path I'm on because I believe I was given a gift. Not just a creative and artistic gift, but the gift to matter, to make a difference. I still remember when "Tely" invited me to speak to her 2nd grade class about my profession. The children were full of hope and inspiration. Their eyes mesmerized and their ears soaked up what I said like a dry sponge. Afterwards, a little girl came up to me to show me her sketches of dresses she had designed. She said she wanted to be a designer when she grew up. I told her, "Mija, keep drawing and don't let anyone stop you, or tell you you can't do it." She was so happy! I will never forget that.

I will also remember the words of my dear friend who said to me recently, "Whatever you do, don't stop making clothes. It's your gift, your craft. Don't stop." Those words echo in my mind and in my heart. Whenever things get a little crazy or too difficult for me to bear, I go back to that little girl, my friend's words. They bring me back to the ground and I remember why I do what I do. I do it for love. It's not for money. It's not for fame. It's not for anything but the sheer love and passion in my heart for it. So I say, especially to all my fellow Latinos, keep doing and keep dreaming.

Here is an image from last night's concert. This was right after Mana played "Latinoamerica"

 A true Celebration of life, freedom and love.
...and I ran into one of Angel Eyes' favorite and loyal model, "Tely"

...and the song that sparked it all.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


It's 12:58 AM and I cannot sleep. Too much on my mind after the Interpol/U2 Concert at Soldier Field tonight. Of course, both bands were beyond incredible! Interpol played all their major hits and so did U2. The one song that stood above the rest, the one song that hit so close to home, the one song that struck chords in me I thought I didn't have, was "One."

Facebook only allows 420 characters in one status update. 420 is not enough. 420 is not even close to the fraction of characters I wish to share. I don't want boundaries. I don't want restrictions. I want to be free. Freedom was stressed tonight at the concert. Freedom to be ourselves. Freedom to be creative. Freedom to Love. The song "One" expresses so many ideas. The message is this: It begins with One. One idea, one thought, one person. It begins with us. One person can put an idea in another and that idea can than be passed on to another. It is up to us to share something positive, or something negative.

Sometimes we think to ourselves, "I am only one person. What difference can I make?" You can make a WORLD of difference. If I start recycling, and someone else sees me recycle, they may think, "Well, she's doing it. Maybe I should too." Then someone sees that person recycle, and thinks to themselves, "Well, if they're doing it, maybe I should too." This is an example of something positive. The same thing can happen in a negative way. I throw trash on the ground, someone may see me and think, "Well, she doesn't care, why should I?"

One is all it takes. No one may read my blog. Maybe a handful will. However, I will keep writing and expressing myself here and anywhere I go in hopes that I can inspire, encourage, motivate, teach, uplift, or just spark ideas in at least "One" person.  Angel Eyes Designs began with One idea. The idea that one day, I'd be able to create clothing to share with the world. Well, so far, Angel Eyes Designs has been exposed to Chicago. One City. One day, maybe it will be shared in other cities.

Ask yourself, "Am I that one person who can cause change?"

It begins with One.

Here are some images of the concert last night:

And here is the song that inspired today's post:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Capturing the Moment

Hello Everyone! I hope your 4th of July weekend was fun and relaxing. I sure tired to enjoy it to the fullest.

This is Angel Eyes Designs first posting for the new Blog. The name of this blog is titled "Thread The Needle". I thought it was fitting as I do this almost daily. Thread The Needle also has other meanings. One of them is that when one threads a needle, we must pay very close attention and focus on that very tiny space to get the thread through it. Sometimes, it take several attempts. Distractions, lack of attention, or sometimes too much caffeine, causes us to miss the hole. Much like life, we must focus on our goals and pay much attention to everything we do along the way, otherwise we miss our chance to reach our goal. 

It's a very exciting time for Angel Eyes and this blog will help capture the moments. As new projects unfold and new collections come to life, they will be recorded here for your viewing. This is also a great opportunity for you to get to know the Designer (me) on a more personal and professional level. I will try to post at least once a week, if not more. I truly am 100% grateful for everyone who has supported my baby since day one. I only hope I can continue to serve you in all your Design needs. With all this said, please come by when you can and feel free to leave comments or suggestions. They are always welcome.

With much love,
Angelica Santoyo-Bernal
Angel Eyes Designs