Zemmoa is a Mexican singer, painter, and performer. We spent a day with Zemmoa and her good friend, fashion designer Roberto Sánchez, taking pictures and chatting about how style has played a role in her life. —Caitlin D.
Thanks to Zemmoa, Roberto Sánchez for styling, Adrián Glez for hair and makeup, and to Andrés Jimenez aka Mancandy.
“I’ve always been the kind of guy, girl, something, whatever, who loves Halloween. I love Halloween, I love my birthday, I love themed parties. Clothes hold the memories of different times in my life. I don’t have a specific color or type of clothes that I always like to wear. It all depends on my feelings. It’s feelings that make the clothes memorable. I remember what I was wearing when I had my first kiss, on my birthdays, et cetera.”
“My parents love me. They worry: for me, for the world, for Mexico, for everything. Parents are always worried. I’m fighting to be free. They say a heart that doesn’t see is a heart that doesn’t feel, so sometimes I prefer to not put my mother in situations that she doesn’t understand or like. I’m doing my career, by myself, and I have my connections and support, and then I have my life with my family. It’s not a double life, there are just things that we don’t talk about. When I go home I dress the same, just less extravagant. Less fashionable, but still fashion. My style is sexy. Elegant sometimes. A lot of glamour, and a little bit of trash that I can’t control. Very Mexican.”
“I made the song ‘Ay Mínimo Escribe Un Adiós,’ because I was very sad over somebody who left me without saying goodbye. I was in bed and I couldn’t stand up, I just wanted to sleep forever. I went to my friend, the fashion designer Mancandy and told him that I wanted to make a music video in my bed, inspired by Madonna’s bed scene on the Blond Ambition Tour, and her Jean Paul Gaultier looks.
I wanted to make a video that showed how depressed I was in that moment, but more elegant, more fashionable, more like the fantasy of what I felt. I made that horrible situation into a fantasy and a song, and something that will last for eternity.”
“Everyone is a character and my character, my expression, my view on life in this moment is Zemmoa. Perhaps I’m not defined, but I’m alive. I have this phrase tattooed on me: Nadie nos va a vencer, which in English is ‘No one is going to defeat us.’ That’s my mantra. I don’t know what I am. I have a little of both worlds, but I’m more interested in the women’s world. I’m as unique as anybody.”
They sometimes say I’m an icon, but that title is a lot of responsibility. It means that perhaps people are repeating my actions, but sometimes I make mistakes and say things that I don’t want anyone to repeat! So I don’t know. It’s an honor, but I have to be humble and stay focused. Life is hard for everybody and we’re all fighting.”
“I love to work in collaboration with others. It is the age of collaboration! I like to be a muse so that designers can express the feeling that I provoke in them: I call it a ‘love feedback.’ I have friends in fashion who have been with me, supporting me, and loving me for a long time. There’s Roberto Sánchez, who I worked with on the clothes for this photo shoot.”
“Clothes given to me by my friends who are fashion designers have special meaning. For these photos, Roberto and I chose a skirt given to me by Carlos Temores, my friend who just passed away. It represents a lot—emotional things, hard things, happy things. That skirt is one of my super skirts. It’s a beautiful piece of art. It’s also the only one like it in the world, because my friend who made it is now in another place.”
“Just be you, express you. Don’t think too much, don’t take things too seriously. Don’t gossip, don’t lose time—because we lose a lot of time in love and in silly things. Work on you, work on your projects. Have confidence and love for yourself, because your mind is a unique universe, and nobody else has access to that universe. That’s why you have the responsibility to do what you have to do, no? You don’t have another choice! The only choice is between whether you want to live happy or sad, and if you want to live happy, you have a lot of things to do. Keep dreaming, keep working, and nothing will defeat you.” ♦