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.


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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