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BarbacoApparel brings new twist to San Antonio staples

SAN ANTONIO -- If you were born and raised in San Antonio, a t-shirt line made in the Alamo City might just speak to your soul.

SAN ANTONIO -- If you were born and raised in San Antonio, a t-shirt line made in the Alamo City might just speak to your soul.

The trio of masterminds behind BarbacoApparel is creating shirts with a 'Puro San Antonio' flavor that only San Antonians may understand.

"One of the things we hear most from our customers is, 'This is me on a t-shirt. This is who I am!'" said Matthew Contreras, Co-Owner of BarbacoApparel. "It's a really good feeling to be able to connect with the community on a personal level through the t-shirts, and to make instant friends with everybody that comes up to the booth."

Online-based BarbacoApparel gives a fresh take on the classics.

Take their A.C. Slater-David Bowie sticker, the Frida Kahlo-Patti Smith blend t-shirt, or their Talkboy sticker with the word 'Chismoso' on it, for example.

For locals, one of the company's newest stickers nods to the 'famous' Arrow Upholstery commercial with an elderly woman pictured on a television set saying, 'I've gone back three times, haven't I?'

Or, how about a twist on the San Antonio urban legend, the Donkey Lady, of the Donkey Lady Bridge?

"Every other Donkey Lady shirt we had seen was kind of scary, so we wanted to do a fun twist to make her a little more personable," said Contreras. "So we did her in a dress and made her up like a lady."

Most might know the company from their taco t-shirts.

The trio, including Contreras, Richard Diaz and Nydia Huizar work together doing graphics work. As a creative release, BarbacoApparel was born.

In 2014, when the company started, the creators did a little brainstorming: What does it mean to live in San Antonio and be a part of the community?

The answer was clear. Most San Antonians really connect with tacos.

It gets serious. BarbacoApparel's 'Bean & Cheese' shirts are best-sellers.

"So we thought, what better way to express yourself than put your favorite taco on a t-shirt," said Contreras. "It's easy when you walk into a restaurant, you can just point to your shirt and they'll have your order ready!"

The trio of employees also created a sticker and t-shirt with a modern twist on the Tejano music icon, Selena.

The superstar is dressed in her famous purple ensemble, surrounded by dinosaurs.

"People ask what the dinosaurs are in reference to. Then when you tell them, 'It's Los Dinos!' They're like, 'Oh! Ok, we totally get it!' Then they laugh and crack up about it," said Richard Diaz, Co-Owner of BarbacoApparel.

For barbacoa lovers, try the t-shirt with a cow diagram of Mexican dishes.

"It has the dishes that are made with the different parts of the cow," said Contreras. "This one we actually went to a butcher to make sure we were labeling the right parts of meat."

BarbacoApparel's newest t-shirt design includes a 'Taco-naut', or an astronaut with a taco on the helmet.

"With this one we kind of wanted to play with a space design," said Contreras. "Nydia really wanted to do an astronaut and originally we were going to put the state of Texas where the taco is, but we thought a taco would be funnier. This one glows in the dark, which is pretty cool."

Nydia Huizar is the artist behind BarbacoApparel designs.

Contreras said they're always creating new material. As for suggestions from the public, he said the suggestions keep coming.

"Weenies and eggs [t-shirt] is something we're considering," said Contreras. "Migas, chilaquiles."

The trio's dream is to be the official shirt of San Antonio. They hope to open a store in the near future.

To shop BarbacoApparel, you can visit their website http://www.barbacoapparel.com/.

You can also find their apparel at Whole Earth Provisions stores in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, Leighelena at The Pearl and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

BarbacoApparel sets up a booth around town every Sunday at the Brick at Blue Star from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more appearances around town, follow BarbacoApparel on Facebook and Twitter.

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