Celebrate the women of our border

Faces of Tres

We all know what runway models look like. They are thin, young and beautiful.

They portray whatever attitude is au courant at the time.

Professional models may not all look alike, but generally, they follow a not-too-secret standard formula. They fulfill what designers are looking for: models who can showcase their latest fashions to the media and store buyers to ensure success for their businesses.

I don’t mean to downplay fashion models’ skills and hard work. As Yves Saint Laurent once said, “a good model can advance fashion by 10 years.”

It’s just that 99.99 percent of us women will never be fashion models – and we real women don’t need to compare ourselves to them.

The truth is that real women are beautiful, distinctive, authentic, interesting and downright fabulous in their own right.

I guess you could say there are models – and then there are real women.

Since Tres Mariposas opened its doors more than 40 years ago, we’ve seen women change dramatically. Our typical 1970s customer was a woman whose roles included wife, mother and homemaker. Today we have no typical customer.

Our loyal customers range from teenagers to retirees, from soccer moms to career standouts.

As the years have gone by, I’ve marveled at the accomplishments of many of our loyal customers. Today our customers fill a variety of professional roles, from schoolteachers, doctors and lawyers to accountants, actors and activists.

Our customers are students, mothers and grandmothers. They are women who have fun, whether they are out on a date or volunteering at a hospital or supporting the arts in our community.

And at Tres Mariposas, we have lots of fun working with these real women to help them find the perfect clothes for their real lives.

As we were thinking about all the different fabulous customers we have gotten to know, we decided to do something visually interesting to celebrate the women of our border region.

It was an easy decision – we all know plenty of women who are interesting, full of character and beautiful.

To kick off that celebration, we have launched the first phase of what we’re calling “The Faces of Tres,” and we’re starting with our most visible space: our store windows. If you haven’t seen them yet, come check them out. Instead of slick corporate advertising and pre-packaged art in our window displays, we’re using pictures of our own customers!

Huge thanks to the talented Marty Snortum for shooting these incredible photographs and to the artistic Ladonna Apodaca for spearheading the project for us.

I know you will recognize some of our first group of wonderful women: Cory Aguilar, Sylvia Davidson, Sharon Gan, Sharon Kidd, Joann Longoria and ChaCha Schatzman. They may not be New York fashion models, but we think they’re better: They are beautiful authentic women!

P.S. Stay tuned for more on “The Faces of Tres” and our thinking behind this celebration. I think it will be a fun project.

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