Gypsy Sport Retires Controversial Brand Name on 10-year Anniversary at NYFW
Rio Uribe, the LA-based Chicano designer behind Gypsy Sport, returned to the Big Apple to present his 10-year anniversary collection at 2023 NYFW on Monday (September 11), the last collection under the label name Gypsy Sport.
In an interview with the LA Times, Uribe mentions that he originally chose the name because of the “aspirational” subculture that it represented for him. “But it doesn’t take away from the fact that some people are hurt by the word and it doesn’t take the power away from the people who are using it as a slur,” he said, adding, “It just doesn’t feel like me today. I’m OK with letting it go.”
Uribe also told Vogue, “The word gypsy is sensitive in certain cultures, and since the brand ethos is unifying and inclusive, we just can’t have that word.”
According to the National Organization of Women, the word “gypsy” was used to persecute the Roma (often referred to as Romani) people when they came to Europe. They were labeled as “vagabonds” or as roaming communities of people. Historians note that their populations were decimated during the Holocaust and were enslaved by “landowers, the feudal aristocracy and the Orthodox Church.”
This final run of Gypsy Sport, the 10-year Anniversary runway show was held at GITANO Island, a Mexican restaurant on Governors Island in New York City. And as for a new label name, Uribe is still undecided, but apparently open to suggestions.
The collection was a reimagined look back at the Uribe’s signature silhouettes and styles over the years; a reconstructed basketball jersey, dazzling sequin dresses, and the ever-kitschy I <3 NYC logo>
Uribe’s anniversary show also brought back the return of the open casting call for models from around the world, a trademark decision by Uribe that embodies the label’s inclusive and gender non-conforming style.