going Naco

“Naco” is a word I thought I’d never hear in the States, certainly too slang for the bilingual crowd and too specific for those who aren’t. Then I came across this story:

In a culture where social status looms large, two young designers embrace all things gauche
Going ‘naco’ is way cool

— reported by the Houston Chronicle

Do you applaud at the end of a movie? Does your cell phone ring to La Cucaracha? Do you have lawn furniture in your living room?

Answers in the affirmative might mean you’re “naco” (pronounced NAH-koh) — Mexican slang for “tacky” or “low-class.” But don’t fret. In a culture hypersensitive to social status, two young designers are embracing all things once considered gauche in Mexico, and making a profit by turning class consciousness on its head.

Hmmm… maybe I had the wrong word. “Tacky” I will accept, “low-classs” seems wrong, though.

Edoardo Chavarin and Robby Vient produce T-shirts for boutiques across Mexico, California, Arizona, Florida and Illinois with proclamations like Ser Naco es Chido, or Being Naco is Cool.

Their company name? NaCo., of course.

[snip]

NaCo. began mass-producing shirts in 2001. Chavarin, who also designs CD covers, gave them to friends in the entertainment world as a marketing tool.

Members of the Mexican-American rap metal group Molotov wear them onstage. Mexican movie star Diego Luna wore one for a skit during the MTV Latin awards.

Worth looking at, probably. If you’ve seen these tees, drop me a line to let me know what they’re like.

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/palomacruz) and (Facebook).

4 thoughts on “going Naco”

  1. I have seen the t-shirts. They were very popular in Mexico a few years ago. There were other ones with similar messages such a “beaner”, “Frijolero” and other ones I cant remember. The Naco ones that I do remember, although there were a few styles, were a bit like the logo of Aussie rockers ac/dc (you know???? With the bolt of lightning in the middle of the letters) na/co. Chido one????? O que pedo?????

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