We had the good fortune of connecting with Cruz Rendon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cruz, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I took modeling a little more serious around the same time I became a fashion writer. I became inspired after making theatre costumes in high school. I loved putting costumes and outfits together that told a story. I also didn’t see many models that had the same background I did. That pushed me to break out of my comfort zone. I often saw beautiful models, but none that looked like me. It was a challenge to my own confidence, which wasn’t very high at the time. However, I saw a need to tell my story — there is a need for Latinx representation and there is a need for queer, Latinx representation in media and in fashion. I put that drive into my work as a model and as a writer.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
No matter what the project is, I’m going to tell a story of identity and/or sustainability. Most of my writing calls for sustainable action because the fashion industry is such a big pollutant, I owe it to our planet. If I don’t write about sustainability, I make sure to give spotlight to those unheard voices. Whether that be a person in the LGBTQ+ community, in the Black community or anyone that is underrepresented. When modeling, storytelling is a huge component of a photoshoot. If I’m not coloring the photo with the story of my life, I’m not showing up for people in my community. Instead of simply taking a nice photo, I’d like to inspire others to fill my shoes or see themselves as someone who can achieve whatever dream they have. As an artist/creative, you will hear the word “no” more than “yes.” That’s the biggest challenge to overcome. Learning to take criticism and rejection is part of this journey. The earlier you master that, the more fulfilling the work becomes. There are two moments in my creative career that I’m most proud of. In 2019, I walked in Austin Fashion Week for designer Alantude, who competed in season 18 of Project Runway and was part of the design team for HBO Max’s Legendary. I also booked a digital campaign for a skincare app called Cherie. The “Beauty is Fluid” campaign was shot in Los Angeles and amplified that beauty did not have a specific standard. Recently, my work was featured in Vogue Italia’s Photovogue collection.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are many great places in Dallas to get inspired. I spend most of my time in the Oak Cliff area because it feels like home. I get coffee and do most of my writing at Wild Detectives in Bishop Arts, it’s small, cozy and full of amazing people. They coffee shop is part bar and part bookstore, so there’s something for everyone. For lunch, bbbop Seoul Kitchen in Bishop Arts is a must if you love Korean and Asian fusion. The Trinity Groves area is a neat place to walk around. There are many restaurants and, of course, a great view of the Downtown Dallas skyline. I like to walk across the Ronald Kirk bridge for some photo opportunities. To unwind and have a snack, I visit Fruteria Cano. They’re a small, family-owned business that serves many fruit-based snacks. I always order their Strawberries and Cream aka “fresas con crema.” The best brunch spot (especially on the weekends) is Yolk downtown, everything on the menu is delicious! If you want to drink, hang out and maybe bust a dance move, go to Round-Up Saloon in Oak Lawn. They play great music and put on some fun shows. If you’re interested in shopping, check out Lula B’s and Dolly Python for great vintage finds.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to give a huge shoutout to Cara Mia Theatre! I was a student teacher for their School of Yes summer program where they expose young students to the arts and give them the space to say “yes” to the future of their choice. The summer camp is based in Oak Cliff, the town where I grew up. I had very little exposure to the arts in Oak Cliff because my school was underfunded, so this was a great opportunity to give back to my community. Every summer I volunteered, I felt more and more connected to my Latinidad and knew that my future career would be in a creative field. I strongly resonate with their mission and have experienced, first-hand, that making art can change lives.
Maya Coplin, Alma Zamora, AJ Lazo-Kim, Kelly Kim, Casey Tang, Breyona Holt, Paige Miller