Alonso Mateo wouldn’t be caught dead at Gymboree. He’s more of a Tom Ford, Gucci type of guy. The five-year-old style icon garnered attention from the fashion world last summer after stylists noticed his perfectly-tailored ensembles on Instagram.
Today, Mateo has a legion of followers (almost 100,000 on Instagram) checking in on his latest photos, resembling editorial spreads in GQ. This trendsetting tot has the walk-in closet to match Conde Nast’s, with one wall dedicated exclusively to footwear.
Originally from Monterey, Mexico, Mateo is the son of stylist Luisa Fernanda Espinosa, herself a social media star with 345,000 Instagram followers. Luisa helps curate his look each morning with her season-conscious sartorial finds.
“I don’t know if it’s because he’s an only child and he’s surrounded by so many grown-ups that he kind of wants to replicate what everybody around him is wearing? I don’t think he really notices he’s fashion forward. He’s too young,” Luisa told The Cut.
Every time I see a fashionable child like Mateo on the Internet, I have to admit to feeling my ovaries explored and getting the immediate urge to fly out to the shadiest adoption agency in a third world country.
Beside the fact that 90 percent of kids’ clothing options are pretty tacky, there is something instinctively aspirational about raising a child sophisticate with an impeccable wardrobe who can order a round of sparkling water in perfect French. Even if it’s more about the parent than the kid accessory.
Yet I can’t help but think that five-year-olds like Mateo should be running around in superhero capes, fairy wings, pirate hats or even a simple tee with their favorite cartoon character, never mind it may be a total eyesore. After all, fashion’s own enfant terrible Marc Jacobs did get a tattoo of Sponge Bob Squarepants.
It’s easy to criticize Mateo’s parents for “robbing” their child of his tacky childhood, Suri Cruise-style, but fashion is its own type of fantasy world. Some kids may want to play and pretend to be the Batman who saves Gotham. Others, certainly Mateo, are better suited to be the Tom Brady of their own self-made world.
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