In an era of micro trends and “cores,” there’s a new popular style emerging every other day. The newest talk among Latinas is the rise of Bolivarcore fashion. If you’re wondering what that is, read on to discover why figures of the Spanish-American Wars of Independence are sparking fashion conversations. 

Rabanne x H&M

Fashion enthusiasts rejoiced when the fast fashion retailer H&M announced a collaboration with the Spanish brand Rabanne in October. The collection has successfully made it to the wardrobes of A-listers such as Elle Fanning, Cher, and Macarena Achaga. Of course, fashion lovers around the world are flocking to the stores to get their hands on the brand’s iconic metallic pieces. 

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Cher at the Rabanne x H&M launch party. Image courtesy of H&M

ICYMI, Rabanne is the eponymous brand founded by the late designer and artist Paco Rabanne. Dubbed the “Metallurgist of Fashion,” Rabanne made a name for himself as a daring and revolutionary figure in the 60s and went on to gain popularity with his link pieces. 

Honoring the designer’s legacy (who passed away last year), H&M enlisted the Spanish brand to create a collaboration. The collection hit the stores this month, and while the metallic designs have been popular, there’s a particular item making the rounds among Latinos. 

Image courtesy of H&M

Bolivarcore, H&M feat. Antonio José de Sucre, the Nutcracker… the jokes won’t stop

The piece in question is no other than what was originally called a pelisse, a type of military jacket sported by hussar cavalry militaries in the sixteenth century. Among Latinos, the jacket is best recognized as part of the independentist armies’ uniforms and a staple of historical figures such as Simón Bolívar and Antonio José de Sucre. Naturally, the resemblance hasn’t gone unnoticed, and people in Latin America can’t stop joking about it. 

In a now-viral video, Ecuadorian TikTok user @lacris_ humorously edits a video clip of the jacket with the Ecuadorian national anthem. (Probably as a nod to the change of the guard ceremonies in the country, where the guard sports similar uniforms). “New collaboration between H&M and Antonio José de Sucre,” they joke. Another social media user takes a screenshot of the video to X, where she wonders, “What’s up with that H&M ft. Simón Bolívar collection?”

Comments and reactions are equally hilarious. “Does anyone know how much this edition of Battle of Pichincha costs?” one user asks. “Judging by the price, it’s probably the jacket [Antonio José de Sucre] used for the battle,” another replies. 


Simón Bolívar imponiendo tendencia en pleno 2023 ???????????? #rabannehm #rabanne #sanmarino #ecuador #guayaquil #moda #comedia

♬ sonido original – zinahyd

“I thought it was a Nutcracker costume for Christmas,” someone else joked. “It’s giving Simón Bolivar vibes.” “I would wear it, but my biggest fear is someone asks me what was the color of Bolivar’s horse,” another user wrote, referring to a popular myth about Bolivar’s steed, Palomo.  

Military Jackets in Pop Culture

While the jacket is indeed giving Bolivarcore vibes, military jackets have been a popular staple in both fashion and pop culture for centuries. In the twentieth century, specifically, modernized military uniform items became a must-have for rock icons. Worn as a statement against the establishment or an act of rebellion, the military jacket saw a boom with the influence of figures like Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger and the contribution of stores such as the famed “I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet.” Other rock stars such as Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles made legendary appearances wearing this fashion piece. 

Throughout the decades, music movements such as the New Romantics, with figures like Adam and the Ant, further pushed for this type of military jacket as a fashion statement. This uniform-inspired style has also made cameos in music videos such as My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome To The Black Parade.” And let’s not forget, Michael Jackson’s appearance at the 1984 American Music Awards. 

Similarly, fashion brands including Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, and Balmain have popularized military looks on the runways. Now Rabanne is bringing this item back with the seal of approval of people like Cher and Natalie Vertiz. And though opinions are mixed, Latinos are enriching this conversation.

A fashion staple, Bolivarcore or Nutcracker? You decide, but one thing is undeniable: military jackets will continue to influence fashion in the years to come.