E! News: Why was it important for you to pay tribute to your heritage with the Caliente Collection?
Angel Merino: “We’ve been working on this collection for quite some time now, but I felt it was so needed during this time. We really need to amplify voices and really spotlight communities that haven’t been in the past. When I had my meeting with Sephora, when we pitched them my idea of this collection, they were super, super excited because they were like, ‘We have nothing in our environment that looks like this.’ I felt it was such a void that needed to be filled.”
E! News: Speaking of that, how does it feel to have a brand that adds representation and inclusivity to the beauty industry?
AM: “It’s amazing, and honestly, the most rewarding thing for me. The thing that I love the most is getting messages from people, saying ‘We’re so proud to see a Latin-owned brand.’ I feel it’s my responsibility, as the founder of this brand, to really spotlight those voices. Even Pride is always a huge time for my brand because I’m a gay Hispanic male, so it’s something that we always focus on as well. Any opportunity that we get to highlight and amplify communities, I definitely take that because I feel that social responsibility.”