Dominique Negrón has presence. It fills the room. She’s welcoming, humble and maintains a quiet confidence that suggests she’s an astute observer – a traveler. So when we met Dominique during a HyLo Event we knew we had to interview her. A few weeks later on an unseasonably warm day in Philadelphia, Justine and I headed over to Northern Liberties to meet Dominique at her apartment for coffee and to discuss her 6 month trip to Ecuador, as well as her current work as a style editor.
Dominique Negrón Style Editor for HyLo Boutiques
Currently I write and act as the Style Editor for HyLo Boutiques – a Philadelphia based fashion and design collective that promotes local talent through storytelling and events. It’s my job to find the talent and help curate which items to feature on our site and at the events. We’re really proud of the work because it reconnects people with the production and more specifically the individual designers and artisans.
When it comes to travel or my work as a style editor I’m not sure where it all began. I was an Anthropology major in college and I’ve always been interested in different cultures and people. I come from a mixed heritage household, which influenced my world view early on. So you could say I’ve always had an interest in diverse perspectives whether it’s art, food or fashion. It’s what encouraged me to travel and see different things. But specifically, when it comes to styling, I think the field can be interpreted through an anthropological lens. It’s an exercise in the analysis of fashion as a whole. To be able to expand your horizons and see many different cultural trends or styles at once is the challenge. Putting it all together, so that it makes sense… that’s the art form and what really got me interested in styling and writing about fashion.
My realization that I wanted a career in fashion started in Ecuador. It was a trip that had so many unexpected outcomes. I originally went there to teach english and ended up working at a travel agency. My boss at the time started a birding tourism company in the tropics because he loved it. It was empowering to realize you can do what you love even though it may not be the easiest path. Watching him pursue his passion was inspiring.
At the very same time, I was starting to religiously read fashion blogs. In the beginning I was mostly influenced by The Sartorialist, like many others. So as a tourist I took pictures of the beautiful scenery, and then later the people – as any anthropologist would – and then I moved on to what the people were wearing. Fashion is an interesting manifestation of culture. Not only is there street style, runway style, and cultural style but there are also styles specific to a region or city. Seeing that first hand made me realize I wanted a career in fashion because I could touch so many topics and experiences through a single field. It was a culmination of interests – travel, culture and people. All of that happened for me in Ecuador.
While in Ecuador, my boyfriend and I took a weekend trip to the surf town, Mompiche, on the NW coast. Right away we connected with the people in the town – young boys and men who all surfed and played soccer on the beach.
At nights we would go to the one bar in town for fresh pina coladas. The bar owner “Casi Guapo” translated as “almost handsome” (the locals insisted on us calling him that – and it was true) used the fruits of the jungle and beach to make our cocktails.
It wasn’t until day two that we started throwing around a frisbee. The kids caught on instantly, and in no time we split into teams then explained the rules of ultimate frisbee in gestures and broken Spanish. The game got competitive and we attracted spectators, which heightened the intensity. It was a great time.
Needless to say, nobody wanted to leave and return to the city that weekend. We were all praying the rain would make the road impossible to travel.
— el fin.
A quick note about the photographs — Dominique’s apartment is full of bright colors, sunlight, the smell of amazing coffee and art from all over the world. It’s a physical affirmation of travel’s influence. The featured pictures above display some choice pieces that Dominique collected while visiting Ecuador. Her colorful shoes and a beautiful ring by Oswaldo Guayasamín are just a few of the notable pieces we observed on our visit.