A Marriage of Heritage and Design, Reinventing the Guayabera with Guillermo

Guillermo Rios hailed from a long line of Mexican rancheros. Trading his youth on horseback for a career as a surgeon, Guillermo's uniform of choice at work, on Sundays, and for family fiestas was a guayabera. A man of profound cultural curiosity, who spoke five languages, traveled often and valued everyone, whether you swept the floor or sermonized at church, Guillermo Rios celebrated the guayabera's rich Chicano heritage just as he danced in celebration of life.

To his son Mark, the elder Rios passed along an inquisitive nature and appreciation for tradition that would influence Mark's perception of his multicultural hometown of Los Angeles. In honor of his father and of the guayabera's inclusive ideology, Mark Rios created Guillermo. Mark modernized a classic in shaping the Guillermo brand: a shirt collection for everybody, free from class structure. In its form, function and flair, Guillermo prides itself on preserving playfulness and poise, authenticity, and ingenuity.

 

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The guayabera's origin remains a mystery. Legends trace back centuries to Creole, Latin American and Filipino roots, although embroidery began in Spain. Popular folktale tells of Cuban guayaba (guava) pickers who discovered the world's first performance shirt through Caribbean trade routes, using its four large patch-pockets to tote lunches, cigarros, and other esenciales while keeping their hands free for work.

 Left: A member of the Spanish Military wears a guayabera; right: The guaybera as an iconic staple of Latin Life.

Left: A member of the Spanish Military wears a guayabera; right: The guaybera as an iconic staple of Latin Life.

Over time, the shirt's even been symbolically embellished to suit the personality or personal story of the ones who wear it. From Mexico and the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico and the Philippines, the guayabera remains an iconic staple of Latin life.

Today, individuals tell stories with their style, searching for a tie to something real and unique. Authenticity is as important as ethics, something we also consider when designing and making these shirts locally in Southern California.

 Looks from the Guillermo line: (from left to right) Tranquilo, Valiente, Bravo, and Moderno

Looks from the Guillermo line: (from left to right) Tranquilo, Valiente, Bravo, and Moderno

Adjustable vents enabled range of motion and kept men cool in the blazing sun while long-sleeved versions substituted for jackets in equatorial climates. The guayabera’s dual legacy as both a practical work shirt and elegant dress shirt makes the garment dynamic enough to wear to a meeting, barbecue and nightclub all in one day.

With both a rich heritage and a modern retake, Guillermo represents the future of fashion—invariable authenticity married with craft and style. Guillermo’s foundational line of four shirts is design to be an essential element in personal style, something to be celebrated, worn often, and well-loved.

Dive into Guillermo’s modern reinvention at wearguillermo.com and follow along with us on Instagram.