Since When Do Pants Come in “Latino?”

By Joseph Lamour, Fashion Correspondent

I seem to have found a rather telling typo on Temperley London’s website. Temperley, if you do not know is a couture house that clothes stars for red carpet events (like Jennifer Lopez), and while perusing their website (I was curious about how much Molly Sims dress was on The Rachel Zoe project) I found something called “Latino Leather” pants in a…. very tan… hue…

Am I hallucinating? Or…

See the above image. I also see them spelled as “Lantino leather pants” so I was hoping Lantino was a type of fabric… or something in another language… so I googled.

0 relevant results.

I yahoo-ed.

0 relevant results.

For god sakes, I even bing-ed.

0 relevant results.

Shouldn’t someone at Temperley explain this? Are there no people of color viewing their website other than me? Jennifer? Jennifer’s people?

Out of exasperation I google translated. “Lantino” is Latin for Lantin (say that three times fast).

Lantin is a word meaning “radiant wrapping” in Inca. I found that little gem in an online Inca dictionary. I doubt that’s what they meant, but even if that’s what they did mean, it still leaves the INTENSELY unfortunate “Latino” typo. Am I being crazy or is this actually something? Did they actually name these leather pants after the skin tone of a race of people? And even if they didn’t and this means something relating to fabric, why didn’t they name them something else?

  • Pingback: Racialicious exposes Latino Pants and Racism in Fashion « Dr. Jason Johnson

  • Pingback: The Recession is Your Fault! Racism in Fashion; Obama: Where's My Money?! | Political News and Opinion from a Multicultural Point of View

  • Monica

    I think this may be a typo. Latigo is a tanning process used on leather.
    http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definitions/latigo+leather

    • Jyn

      That’s what I thought too. Not that I think anyone would make pants out of actual latigo (you usually use it for straps and ties and such), but people sometimes use it to allude to the color of latigo leather, or just to sound generally southwestern-y. So maybe a case of really unfortunate auto-correct? My spell checker doesn’t seem to think latigo is a word either.

    • Jyn

      That’s what I thought too. Not that I think anyone would make pants out of actual latigo (you usually use it for straps and ties and such), but people sometimes use it to allude to the color of latigo leather, or just to sound generally southwestern-y. So maybe a case of really unfortunate auto-correct? My spell checker doesn’t seem to think latigo is a word either.

  • http://amygrindhouse.com/ Amy Grindhouse

    Yeah, there’s a lack of input or defense from them. However, this is pretty hard to explain. It would appear the description’s meaning is apparent.

  • Mark Melissa

    Side-note. No such language as “Inca” . The Incan people spoke Quechua. I speak Quechua, and I have never heard of this word, lantino. It might exist, but doubtful this was their reference since Incans didn’t even wear trousers. If given he benefit of the doubt, maybe they just mean Latino because stylistically they look like some traditional riding trousers worn by caballeros. But again, its a stretch.

  • Anne S

    Has anybody contacted Temperley to ask them about it?

  • Anne S

    Has anybody contacted Temperley to ask them about it?

  • Anne S

    Has anybody contacted Temperley to ask them about it?

  • Lucia

    To add insult to injury, the model wearing these pants is white.

  • Lucia

    To add insult to injury, the model wearing these pants is white.

  • Lucia

    To add insult to injury, the model wearing these pants is white.

  • Lucia

    To add insult to injury, the model wearing these pants is white.

  • Lyonside

    I find it hard to imagine that they meant the last name, since if it were a designer, the description would reflect that (so and so’s pants, with a possessive) or maybe the entire collection would be “Lantino” design. Not to mention that “Latino” is used TWICE, and “Lantino” is used once. Looking at my keyboard, it’s fairly easy to add an N while typing “Latino”, especially if you’re saying it outloud in your head – your mind is skipping to the end of the word, so touch typists may go to the N early. In fact, I do touch-type, and I misspelled Latino just typing this. Twice.

    However, regardless of intent, the whole thing repulses me, since (not to pull a Godwin here, but…) the first thing I thought when reading it, considering it’s leather, was “because lampshades are so passe’?”

  • Lyonside

    I find it hard to imagine that they meant the last name, since if it were a designer, the description would reflect that (so and so’s pants, with a possessive) or maybe the entire collection would be “Lantino” design. Not to mention that “Latino” is used TWICE, and “Lantino” is used once. Looking at my keyboard, it’s fairly easy to add an N while typing “Latino”, especially if you’re saying it outloud in your head – your mind is skipping to the end of the word, so touch typists may go to the N early. In fact, I do touch-type, and I misspelled Latino just typing this. Twice.

    However, regardless of intent, the whole thing repulses me, since (not to pull a Godwin here, but…) the first thing I thought when reading it, considering it’s leather, was “because lampshades are so passe’?”

  • Lyonside

    As to the sidenote: no, that is what designers think women’s pants (or rather legs) look like if we have 0% body fat/ look like anorexic preadolescents. I have very thin, naturally petite and slender friends, and THEY would not look good in these pants.

  • Lyonside

    As to the sidenote: no, that is what designers think women’s pants (or rather legs) look like if we have 0% body fat/ look like anorexic preadolescents. I have very thin, naturally petite and slender friends, and THEY would not look good in these pants.

  • Dom4590

    How interesting. Let’s just start by saying that “Latino” is not a “race of people” with a common skintone, and there is no such thing as a language called “Inca” (maybe he means Quechua?). Temperley, a British label that has existed for a rather short time, does not make couture.  With that out of the way, I find the post above just as problematic as the “Latino leather trousers” themselves. Although of course the use of the term is unquestionably problematic in this  case, I would think Temperley maybe meant “Latino-style” (or whatever), not “Latino-colored”, no? Maybe they did, it does seems unusual. Anyway, I do find the author’s assumptions rather curious here. (I think “Lantino” is just a typo, though.) 
    I do find it problematic that the discussion of “Latinos” in the post and the comments relies solely on stereotypes and pop culture references (Jennifer Lopez, big butts, tan skin), and virtually everyone involved in the discussion is uneasy about what Latino means and what is being referenced here exactly.  And yet we are all supposed to be outraged at the misuse of the term. But outraged at what? It’s not clear. Neither the post’s author nor most of the other commenters so far appear to really know how they should parse all of this. I do find the post and the comments even more significant and problematic than the naming of the pants, which is more silly than anything, but that’s just me. I doubt there was much thought involved in the naming of the pants, but the fleshing out of the ideas about “Latinos” in the post and the comments is much more thought-provoking. What is a Latino? Are Spaniards Latinos? Do Latinos have a certain look? These are all questions that came up here and that usually come up when people discuss the idea of Latinos as a cohesive, racialized group. Do they have a common skin color? Do they have a common style? Most discussions of Latinos almost always problematic. If Latinos are “tan”, what about those whose skin color is darker or lighter? These types of discussions always seem so pat and formulaic, but there are vast numbers of people who are primarily of African descent or primarily of European descent all over Latin America and the Latin American diaspora in the US, if that’s what you mean by Latino. These people are being excluded by this type of narrative. It’s important to discuss that when we are talking about the idea of what a “Latino” is we might not really be describing the realities of actual communities but rather the stereotypical position that these communities are afforded in the larger space of American society and the world at large.

    • Lyonside

      If you’ve been on racialicious long, you’d know that most commentators and posters are WELL aware of the dynamics of how Spanish-speaking people from the Americas (and Portuguese-speaking Brazilians) are colloquially lumped in as “Latino.” We’re also well aware that Latin@s come in every skin shade and from every ethnic group, and are often an ethnic and racial admixture depending on history, region, and even socioeconomic status (we’ve had several colorism posts).

      I agree, the post is a little short on the analysis, but I think the intent was to let US point out the obvious, not out of a lack of awareness on the OP’s part. The ad and the leather pants themselves are catering to those stereotypes, almost certainly. But the first problem is ascertaining that that is what is meant – the typo (presumedly) throws that off a bit.

    • Lyonside

      If you’ve been on racialicious long, you’d know that most commentators and posters are WELL aware of the dynamics of how Spanish-speaking people from the Americas (and Portuguese-speaking Brazilians) are colloquially lumped in as “Latino.” We’re also well aware that Latin@s come in every skin shade and from every ethnic group, and are often an ethnic and racial admixture depending on history, region, and even socioeconomic status (we’ve had several colorism posts).

      I agree, the post is a little short on the analysis, but I think the intent was to let US point out the obvious, not out of a lack of awareness on the OP’s part. The ad and the leather pants themselves are catering to those stereotypes, almost certainly. But the first problem is ascertaining that that is what is meant – the typo (presumedly) throws that off a bit.

    • Lyonside

      If you’ve been on racialicious long, you’d know that most commentators and posters are WELL aware of the dynamics of how Spanish-speaking people from the Americas (and Portuguese-speaking Brazilians) are colloquially lumped in as “Latino.” We’re also well aware that Latin@s come in every skin shade and from every ethnic group, and are often an ethnic and racial admixture depending on history, region, and even socioeconomic status (we’ve had several colorism posts).

      I agree, the post is a little short on the analysis, but I think the intent was to let US point out the obvious, not out of a lack of awareness on the OP’s part. The ad and the leather pants themselves are catering to those stereotypes, almost certainly. But the first problem is ascertaining that that is what is meant – the typo (presumedly) throws that off a bit.

    • Lyonside

      If you’ve been on racialicious long, you’d know that most commentators and posters are WELL aware of the dynamics of how Spanish-speaking people from the Americas (and Portuguese-speaking Brazilians) are colloquially lumped in as “Latino.” We’re also well aware that Latin@s come in every skin shade and from every ethnic group, and are often an ethnic and racial admixture depending on history, region, and even socioeconomic status (we’ve had several colorism posts).

      I agree, the post is a little short on the analysis, but I think the intent was to let US point out the obvious, not out of a lack of awareness on the OP’s part. The ad and the leather pants themselves are catering to those stereotypes, almost certainly. But the first problem is ascertaining that that is what is meant – the typo (presumedly) throws that off a bit.

    • Trickelit

      “These are all questions that came up here and that usually come up when people discuss the idea of Latinos as a cohesive, racialized group.”
      This group has been racialized as race tends to erase ethnicity.  Race is also used as a claim to biology when this is hardly the case.  This is also why we witness so many people attributing features and characteristics to this “race” of people.
      For people to also say that the company most likely did not put much thought into this controversy is because they most likely did not.  This does not justify their passive racism and masked prejudices.  This kind of racism is more often than not even more harmful than active racism.

  • Anon

    Hmm… you might very well be reaching, with this one. Yes, the fashion industry does have an overall negative history with racism, but this might be pushing it. Even after reading your analysis, I’m not convinced. We should also keep in mind that perhaps when the people making the name thought of it, their first thought wasn’t about Latino people. This might be a “Europe vs. US” cultural issue, too. I have spent some time in southern Europe and although Italians, Spaniards and the Portuguese are considered Latino by our terminology, they do not seem to refer to themselves as such. And I’m also assuming this brand is either global or local and not directly targeting Americans. So this might be a whole lot of nothing.

    • Anonymous

      So why would they call the pants “Latino”? If, as you say, Spaniards, etc. don’t refer to themselves as Latino, then what’s left are Latin Americans, whom most Americans refer to when they say Latino.

    • http://www.facebook.com/galiotica Nejasna ちゃん

       ”Italians, Spaniards and the Portuguese are considered Latino by our terminology, they do not seem to refer to themselves as such” Because they’re not Latino, the term Latino is an American invention. There was once a tribe of Latins in today’s central Italy. They don’t exist anymore. Other than them, from southern Europe’s point of view, Latin is used solely as a reference to Latin language and languages influenced by it. Not as an ethnic or racial marker. Romans spoke Latin language, they weren’t Latin – they were Romans.  
       Likewise, Latino should refer to people living on the American continent who speak a Latin influenced language.  Not only to white or mixed with white people.
       But that’s all you see as a representative of Latinos in the media.

      • Anon

        I think you might be confusing the term Latino/a with Hispanic, which is a common mistake. And my experiences with talking to southern Europeans about this subject differ very much from what you are saying, honestly.

        Your second paragraph is your opinion of what the word Latino/a should mean. It is not the reality according to many other people.

      • Anon

        I think you might be confusing the term Latino/a with Hispanic, which is a common mistake. And my experiences with talking to southern Europeans about this subject differ very much from what you are saying, honestly.

        Your second paragraph is your opinion of what the word Latino/a should mean. It is not the reality according to many other people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/galiotica Nejasna ちゃん

     The popular image of a Latina is way lighter than that shade, so I think they are referring to the shape of pants, not the colour.  Like –  Latinas have big bottoms, and these pants are cut to fit that. 

    • KTW

      That’s actually what I thought as well.

    • KTW

      That’s actually what I thought as well.

      • Paloma

        I don’t know- the color might be a little dark for movie star Latinas, but that is the color that most people imagine when it comes to Latino immigrants.

        But more than that, the “sexy skinny fit” said it all. I think you’re right Nejasna, it’s the stereotype that Latinas wear skin-tight pants to show off our big butts.

    • KTW

      That’s actually what I thought as well.

    • Julie

      “Latinas have big bottoms?” So should we just exchange one racial stereotype for another?

      • http://www.facebook.com/galiotica Nejasna ちゃん

        Why, thank you for repeating my point. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/galiotica Nejasna ちゃん

        Why, thank you for repeating my point. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/galiotica Nejasna ちゃん

        Why, thank you for repeating my point. 

  • Mickey

    Latino pants? What next, Mulatto moccasins? 

    • http://twitter.com/danthrasher Daniel Thrasher

      Next is the slave earrings.  Oh wait! Already tried that.

  • Mickey

    Latino pants? What next, Mulatto moccasins? 

  • Boddler

    THIS IS AN OUTRAGE

  • Boddler

    THIS IS AN OUTRAGE