Walter Mercado, Selena Quintanilla and More Latin Icons Whose Style Was as Legendary as Their Artistry

From flamboyant capes to bedazzled bustiers and elaborate headdresses, take a look at some of the most fabulous fashion worn by Latin superstars.

By Alyssa Morin Oct 14, 2021 11:00 AMTags
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A simple structured gown, dainty accessories and minimal makeup are enough to land a celebrity on the best dress list. After all, the attire is considered timeless. 

However, when it comes to mastering the art of fashion, no one quite does it like Latinx stars. Is it a bold statement? Absolutely, but it's one that rings true when you take a deeper look at the icons whose style proved to be just as grand as their artistry.

Case in point? Legends such as Juan Gabriel, Celia Cruz and Selena Quintanilla left an indelible mark in both the music and fashion industry. The celebrated performers lit up the stage with their electrifying songs and one-of-a-kind outfits—which were typically bedazzled all over.

In fact, Selena was the mastermind behind some of her most memorable looks, including the iconic purple jumpsuit she wore during her last major concert before her untimely death in 1995.

Famed astrologer Walter Mercado not only enamored his fans with his elaborate readings, but his flamboyant capes and ornate suits were truly spellbinding. The flashy get-ups, which became Walter's signature style, perfectly complemented his larger-than-life persona.

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Get to Know the Next Generation of Hollywood's Latinx Talent

Bad Bunny, Jennifer Lopez and Thalía are just a few other A-listers who continue to wow on the red carpet.

But of course, we're only scratching the surface here. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (and beyond) by looking through the legendary styles of Latinx icons. From María Félix to Maluma, there's plenty of fashion to swoon over in our gallery below.

Walter Mercado

Walter Mercado's ostentatious style perfectly complemented his larger-than-life persona. He not only enchanted people with his astrology and psychic readings, but he brought the razzle-dazzle factor with his ornate vests and bedazzled floor-length capes (his signature style!).

Celia Cruz

The Queen of Salsa lit up the stage with both her lively performances and over-the-top looks. Celia Cruz's dramatically vibrant designs brought the wow factor to the stage as she normally donned voluminous wigs, as well as glitzy gowns that featured layers of ruffles, an explosion of feathers and sparkly rhinestones.

María Félix

Known as "La Doña" and "María Bonita (Pretty María)," María Félix transcended beauty beyond the silver screen. She was known for her fiery reptilian jewelry collection with Cartier and fashion-forward style. After all, Christian Dior and Coco Chanel made designs exclusively for her.

Juan Gabriel

The Mexican legend, also dubbed "Juanga," commanded the stage with his powerful voice and flamboyant fashion. From glimmering mariachi coats garnished with sequin to wildly bright patterned suits, Juan Gabriel's dramatic designs were just as electrifying as his music.

Selena Quintanilla

The Queen of Tejano's incredible legacy has continued to live on two decades after her tragic death in 1995. There's no denying Selena left an indelible mark in music, fashion and beauty. Whether she accessorized with her signature red lipstick or dazzled the stage in a shimmery bustier (ones that she created herself!), her style has stood the test of time.

Cardi B

If there's one thing the rapper is known for, it's taking risks on the red carpet. And her 2019 Grammys look wasn't any different, as she turned heads in a vintage Thierry Mugler gown that was shaped like an oyster shell and featured pearl embellishments. Inspired by Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" painting, she was a walking work of art.

Bad Bunny

Basic and boring aren't part of Bad Bunny's world. From wearing a coat adorned with 13,000 Swarovski stones to accessorizing with a prosthetic third eye, the superstar's fashion is unlike any other. He previously told E! News what influences his style, saying, "I believe you should do things with your heart. You should do things that evoke a feeling...I always do things from the heart, with intention and with passion."

Dolores del Río

In a time when women were restricted to wearing dresses on the daily, the Hollywood starlet pushed the boundaries with her figure-flattering suits. Adding a lavish twist to her menswear-inspired clothing, Dolores accessorized with eye-catching pieces like sexy fascinators, fur coats and embellished gloves.

Jennifer Lopez

It was the year 2000 when Jennifer Lopez cemented herself as a fashion icon. After attending the Grammys that year in a daring green Versace dress, she took the world by storm and became part of pop culture history. Plus, her red carpet moment is the reason Google Image Search exists!

Thalía

The global superstar never misses a beat on the red carpet. For the 2019 Latin Grammys, in which she received the prestigious Premio de la Presidencia award, Thalía made sure all eyes were on her as she stunned in a glitzy red gown that featured sizzling cutouts, floor-length cape sleeves and an extreme middle slit.

Salma Hayek

Long before Gen Z revived bizarre fashion and beauty trends on TikTok, Salma Hayek was literally the blueprint. In the '90s, the A-lister didn't shy away from wearing unconventional and risqué looks on the red carpet. Take for example her colorful butterfly tattoos and curve-hugging black dress at the 1998 MTV VMAs.

J Balvin

Like Bad Bunny, J Balvin isn't afraid to be bold with his style. The Colombian singer, who is known for his wildly colorful hairstyles and eccentric clothes, told E! News that his sense of fashion is "all about attitude." As he explained, "You just have to be you...Because if we are what we have, then the day we don't have, we are nothing—and that doesn't make any sense. So you just got to be confident and have good energy."

Rita Moreno

No one exemplified old Hollywood glamour quite like the one and only Rita Moreno. The Oscar winner charmed the red carpet during the Golden Age with her lavish dresses, elegant accessories (like long-sleeve gloves and silk wraps) and pin-up beauty. She brought back that same allure when she wore her 1962 Oscars dress to the 2018 ceremony.

Carmen Miranda

The Brazilian beauty was in a league of her own when she entered the Hollywood scene. Her glimmering costumes, elaborate headdresses (which were decorated with fruit, feathers and flowers) and layers of vibrant beaded jewelry are still replicated today. Plus, she worked closely with designer Salvatore Ferragamo to create one-of-a-kind heels.

Maluma

From customizing some of his most unforgettable outfits to pushing the envelope both on and off the red carpet, Maluma has quickly become a fashion powerhouse. He previously told E! News, "I feel very connected to the fashion world. I like it, I love it, it's something that I was born with."

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