The Quinceañera, a Dying Mission Tradition

En Español.

Latin Bridal, a shop specializing in dressing up quinceañeras and offering clothes and accessories for weddings, communions, baptisms and proms, has been in the Mission for 23 years.

Owner Sylvia Ferrusquia, who runs the business with her father, husband, daughter and son, estimates that they’ve dressed up around 10,000 girls for the quinceañera, an event that traditionally celebrates a girl turning 15. But lately, Ferrusquia hasn’t seen many Latin girls from the Mission or from other parts of the city visit the store.

“Our communities are hurting because families are moving out,” she says, adding that her business is one of the only ones of its kind left in the Mission. “And it’s hurting our business a lot, because families are not here anymore.”

Diana Campos (the girl featured in the video), however, lives in the Mission and attends Immaculate Conception Academy. She turned 15 on May 4, 2013, and, with the help of Latin Bridal, began planning her quinceañera three months before the Dec. 28 celebration, which took place in Mexico.

Diana Campos stands with her three brothers (who dressed up as charros, or Mexican cowboys) at her quinceañera in Mexico. Photo courtesy of Diana Campos.

Diana Campos stands with her three brothers (who dressed up as charros, or Mexican cowboys) at her quinceañera in Mexico. Photo courtesy of Diana Campos.

Ferrusquia, who grew up in Toluca, Mexico, never had a quinceañera of her own. But she finds joy in helping others plan their celebrations, and says she loves her business.

“Sometimes it’s the only event in the lifetime that is going to be huge,” Ferrusquia says of the quinceañera. “And well, we always try to do the best to make their dreams come true.”

101 Comments

  1. 24-24

    Cosplay at its worse..

    • C. Russo

      What an ignorant comment.

    • Miguel

      Cultural tradition at its best. You really shouldn’t be trivializing something held so sacred to a culture. It’s quite offensive.

      • John

        Miguel, you only ever mention culture in relation to things Hispanic.

        Do whites not have culture, in your opinion?

        • two beers

          Thank you for standing up for the oppressed bloc!

          We’ve been looking for a leader whose stirring rhetoric will inspire us to throw off the yoke of ingratitude and ethnic otherness we’ve had to endure from upstart minority segments.

          Yeah, verily, lead us forth to the promised land of homogenous cultural purity

          It’s all right to be white!

          • John

            You have a problem with the idea that all races have culture?

            If Miguel had said: “Hispanic Cultural tradition at its best. You really shouldn’t be trivializing something held so sacred to the Hispanic culture”, there would have been no need to point out his intrinsic ethnic bias.

            It’s a fair call to point out ethnic bias here.

        • A mission local

          John, Miguel replied that 24-24 shouldn’t be “trivializing something held so sacred to a culture.” Regardless of Miguel’s name, where he’s from or his support for such tradition, He never mentioned hispanic culture nor that only hispanics have culture. I believe every race, ethnicity and nationality has some sort of culture. Some people keep traditions others don’t. But when a religious ceremony or traditional family event is looked down upon negatively, regardless of which culture it’s from, it obviously an ignorant and offensive act.

          • John

            Miguel stated: “Cultural tradition at its (sic) best”. While I’m sure it is a nice frock shop, I think that is hyperbole.

            His insinuation appears to be that if that emporium was replaced with a frock store that instead targeted a white cultural tradition, then that would be a retrograde step.

            In other words, he was holding up an example of Hispanic culture as being inherently superior to an equivalent example of Caucasian culture.

            I picked up on that because this was only the latest in a series of what I regard as ethnically prejudicial statements by Miguel, and I felt it was time for him to be called out on it.

        • Miguel

          John, I simply flipped the original comment. I used the same words the original commenter used to celebrate it rather than criticize it. I don’t think this tradition is better. I don’t think white people don’t have culture. I never said that. In the end, you were just looking to instigate an argument which you succeeded at so congratulation. I was simply asking for respect for something that has a great deal of meaning.

          • Juan

            Miguel, don’t mind this John guy. He’s just the resident troll on this website. You know what they say: trolls will be trolls! They will always feed off proving their point in stupid debates they create themselves. Such fascinating creatures to observe! It’s quite interesting how John carefully over-analyses your comments with such great precision and suggests you made “ethnically bias and prejudicial statements,” yet he has nothing to say about 24-24′s
            comment.

          • John

            Juan, since you asked, I did not think 24-24′s comment was the finest piece of satire that I’ve ever encountered.

            But at the same time I thought the reaction to that was overdone. I’ve seen worse comments made here about, say, white male tech workers, and that was given a pass by the same people who scream outrage when someone has the audacity to pop the bubble of Hispanic patronizing.

            Miguel has subsequently acknowledged that white culture is just as important and, with that said, I see little reason to labor the point any more. If this store fails it is because the Hispanics in the Mission are moving away from their customs as part of their assimilation here, and not because white people are going anything bad or wrong or evil.

          • A mission local

            Go away troll. Go rant somewhere else! By the way, you just clarified that Miguel was not insinuating what you thought he was saying. In other words you were wrong about his ” bias statements” so just leave it at that.

          • John

            AML, I stand by my earlier statement based on the syntax that I was presented with at the time, and am now happy to accept the conciliatory clarification proffered.

          • marcos

            “John” is not worth more than a handful of keystrokes every now and again.

          • John

            That’s rich coming from you and given that I have debunked almost every assertion you have made.

            Not that I broke a sweat.

          • A mission local

            Good for you John. Good for you.

          • Juan

            And the award for the most annoying race/class-baiting troll on Mission Local goes to….

            JOHN!! Congratulations you pretentious jerk!

          • John

            Isn’t “Juan” Spanish for John, juan?

            And you sure sound race-obsessed to me.

          • Juan

            No, the only race obsessed idiot in here is you. Trying to stir up some nonexistent ethnic bias. I’m just having a great time exposing how big of an asshole you are. And for the first time you actually said something correct, Juan is Spanish for John! Oh the irony!
            Congrats on passing elementary Spanish!

          • marcos

            ¡Albondigas te dije!

          • Juan

            ¡Tenías razón Marcos! Este individuo no tiene otro quehacer.

          • John

            Juan, protesting too much and resorting to another language pretty much tells me that my original assessment was correct, and that you are defending racial bias.

            Miguel has fixed the problem so your retrospective defense of him is as untimely as it is ineffective.

            Lose the over-sensitivity. It comes across as fake, partisan and precious.

          • Juan

            Resorting to another language? You are just as pathetic as your comments. I wasn’t even taking to you, you idiot. I was responding to Marcos. And I can write in Spanish if I want. Isn’t this after all a bilingual website? And reality check John. This isn’t a speech and debate competition were you must have the winning statement on a every single thing you write. We are just calling you out on the asshole that you are on this website.

          • Juan

            Resorting to another language? You are just as pathetic as your comments. I wasn’t even taking to you, you idiot. I was responding to Marcos. And I can write in Spanish if I want. Isn’t this after all a bilingual website? And reality check John. This isn’t a speech and debate competition were you must have the winning statement on a every single thing you write. We are just calling you out on the asshole that you are on this website.

          • John

            no, Juan, ML is not a bi-lingual website. It is conducted in English with a special section for those who want to speak in Spanish.

            I feel sure you know that it is considered rude to talk in public in a language that not all of the people present understand. And I’m equally sure that if I wandered into a Spanish-speaking forum and started running my mouth in English like you did, that you launch into a whine about the horrors of assimilation.

            Tens of millions of Hispanics have the option of being in a Hispanic nation but they choose instead to be in an Anglo-Saxon nation. You might care to reflect on what that is, and how you can respect the hospitality you have been shown.

          • Juan

            Wow John, weren’t you the one who called me “race-obsessed” and said: lose the over-sensitivy? Why are you bringing up Hispanics all of the sudden and how they should play nice in this “Anglo-Saxon” nation? What does that have to do with the fact that I simply responded to someone else’s comemmnt in Spanish?

            So let me get this straight, you find it rude for people to speak another language in pubilc places in the US, or in this case an “english only forum” but it’s ok to say racist comments? What an impressive logic you have!

            Is this what you say to all those diverse people of SF? To not speak their native language out in public places because it is rude? Is it written anywhere on this website that I should only write in English on English written articles? Is it a law? I don’t think so.

            So maybe ML is not entirely bilingual, but let me remind you that this the Mission District John, dispite its many newcomers, actually still many of the residents and people on ML speak and/or understand Spanish. Wether you like it or not, that’s your own personal issue. If you have a problem with certain groups of people that think and write diffently from you, and that stand up for their own beliefs and opinions, then I suggest you leave.

            By the way, I also speak and write other languages (fluently) You were just making assumptions because of the name that I chose on ML and because I wrote in Spanish!

            Thanks again for proving my point that you are just a race-baiting jerk. Ignorance and racism will not be tolerated in my neighborhood!

          • John

            Juan, if you understood my comments (or perhaps, even read them properly) you would have seen that I was opposing racial prejudice.

            I never said it was rude to speak any particular language in public. I said it is rude to speak a language in a group when you know that some members of that group do not understand that language. I feel sure you know that but are just being mischievous.

            You ask ” Why are you bringing up Hispanics all of the sudden?” Because that was the topic here.

            I wasn’t deriding any ethnicity here. I was criticizing the overly-precious promotion of one culture over another, which was my original point to Miguel. Given that he accepted that, you should do, unless you just want to argue for the sake of arguing.

            In English, of course, because that is the normal language of discourse even in the Mission.

          • Miguel

            Juan, you’re literally doing what you told me to watch out for. This all started by John taking my comment out of context and inferring that I was making a controversial and racially biased inference. I quite clearly let John know where I was coming from, he understood, and it was cleared up. There’s no point in feeding someone that’s out looking for things to comment on. Notice that in this entire comments section he’s only instigated argument without making any original comment of his own. For the record, John, you commented on one of your 500 posts, “this was only the latest in a series of what I regard as ethnically prejudicial statements by Miguel, and I felt it was time for him to be called out on it.” The comment you were referring to was actually the first comment I had ever written on ML. In fact, it was my first time on ML. Again, instigation at it’s finest. Have a happy life, John.

          • Juan

            You are right Miguel. There is really no point to the ongoing comments. The main story behind this article is what matters the most. Any other opinions that are out of context are pointless.

      • 24-24

        I’m hispanic, all that “tradition” is lame. It is tradition for Mexicans to live in Mexico, thank god my forefathers broke that tradition.. Alcoholism, sexism, teenage pregnancy and ugly clothes are also some hispanic traditions I will not be taking part in..

        • John

          Most of the white liberals who wax lyrical about Hispanic “culture” don’t participate in it at all beyond eating the odd burrito.

    • A mission local

      24-24, how is this cosplay? Is it because they are dressed differently? It’s like saying “dressing up” for any important ceremony or traditional event is cosplay. Regardless of your opinions of Mexican and Hispanic traditions, this was a religious ceremony in which traditional formal attire was used. The suits worn are traditionally from state of Jalisco and are worn in formal events such as weddings and in this case a quinceañera. This ceremony is a representative and culminating milestone in the lives of certain young girls who want to celebrate this life event and have pride in their culture. It is not a costume party. You ignorant fool.

  2. scum

    Now that you’re fifteen, it’s time to move out, get married and have kids.

        • John

          marcos, if you are a big fan of smashing windows when you disagree with someone, you presumably won’t have any problem if someone throws a rock through the windows of the Mission condo that you own?

          As long as it is done for political reasons?

          • marcos

            Did I miss the part of the report where windows in the homes of people who were not serially evicting for profit were being broken?

          • John

            marcos, I’m sure there are people out there who think that the white male tech workers who gentrify the Mission by buying condos here are deserving of some vandalism.

            And since you have already expressed your support of breaking windows as a political strategy, you would naturally understand if that happened.

          • marcos

            Perhaps because some of us have lived in the neighborhood for decades and become part of it without bending it to meet our needs, bogarting the neighborhood as Spike Lee said, our homes are practically indistinguishable from those of most other residents.

          • John

            marcos, white male tech workers have been gentrifying the mission for at least two decades so that doesn’t make you special or immune from criticism.

            But my point wasn’t even that you are part of the problem, since I don’t have an issue with affluent white folks improving a neighborhood as you have done.

            My point was that if you support breaking windows as a legitimate political protest, then you could not reasonably object if someone took a rock to your million dollar Mission condo.

            Would you accept that if that is a legitimate tactic, then we should all do it?

          • marcos

            Those who take a neighborhood and wring it dry in order to make a buck are fair game as are those who alight in a neighborhood temporarily to make their money and then move on.

          • John

            marcos, so IOW breaking windows is OK for someone who agrees with your politics but not OK for someone who does not agree with your politics?

            An absolute, objective moral code can be determined solely by consulting with your views?

            How convenient for you.

          • marcos

            It is okay to fight back against people who engage in willful economic violence.

          • John

            OK, so window breaking is OK if it is for an approve ideology listed in marcos’s little red book of political aphorisms, and not otherwise.

            First we classify people, then we sterootype, them, then we separate them, and then we commit violence against them in the name of “justice”.

            Stalin would be proud of you.

          • marcos

            A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.

          • John

            OK, marcos, so you have no interest in the democratic process. You simply want to use force and violence to impose your politics on others?

            The problem, of course, is obvious. As a white male tech worker, gentrifier of the Mission and condo owner then, come the revolution, you are in line to be taken out into the street and shot.

            Be careful of what you wish for.

          • nutrisystem

            Hey John, Are you one of those conservatives who is outraged by the slightest act of violence – except when trashing some foreign country helps corporate profits?

            One of those ivy-league hypocrites who has impeccable manners… yet is OK with bombing Iraq’s government, water and electrical systems, thus condemning millions to live with poverty, disease and violence?

            Yes, that’s a typical conservative for you: they love to dish out economic and physical violence on an industrial scale, but wet their pants if they have to face even a tiny bit of it in their own lives.

          • John

            nutrisystem, that’s mostly wrong.

            I’m not a conservative. I’m a registered democrat who never voted for W and voted for Obama.

            I did attend an Ivy League school. I’ve said that before.

            I wasn’t really in favor of the second Iraq war. I think Afghanistan and the first Iraq war were justified on humanitarian grounds.

            Regardless of that, I do not think that people in SF should go around breaking windows. If you cannot persuade me that you are correct through debate and rhetoric, then you should probably just accept that. It’s that tolerance thing again.

          • marcos

            The whole point of the ivy league is to teach people how to be brutally violent using the most refined and tame language while bristling at anyone who does not show proper table manners and to give networking vectors for those people to connect with one another.

          • John

            So the finest education on the planet is really just a vast right-wing conspiracy?

            I happen to think that civility and good manners are important. To maintain the same demeanor whether one wins or loses is something that the best schools instill.

            The fact that you want to break someone’s window every time you lose a debate is not a coveted trait, nor an effective one.

          • marcos

            Who said that the ivy league was the finest education on the planet? David Chiu? Scott Wiener?

          • marcos

            Oooh, top universities.com! Next, John will regale us with tales of his astronomical IQ from sites like http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/iqtable.aspx‎.

          • John

            marcos, if you counter-claim is that the third-rate community college that you went to in Texas is better than Harvard, then I think my work here is done.

            Keep on being angry with and at the world. It’s very constructive.

          • marcos

            Whatever university I attended, it equipped me with sufficient smarts to be able to command the attention of an Ivee Leeger.

      • Jack

        There are cameras everywhere around that block. I bet they have alot of footage.

      • nutrisystem

        Vanguard is right up there with fleas and ticks.

    • Miguel

      Your username describes you all too well. Just because you were kicked out at 15 and not loved by your parents doesn’t mean everyone else’s lives are like that. Poor you.

  3. Bryan

    Let’s get real John, you’re just mad because you don’t have a culture as rich and fascinating as Hispanic culture. Save your shallow opinions for your ignorant hipster friends.

    • Bryan

      I meant 24-24, not John. sorry John

    • John

      And what would a guy named “Bryan” know about Hispanic culture?

      The insinuation that Hispanics culture is somehow better or richer or more worthy than other cultures is definitely ignorant and borderline racist..

      • marcos

        White bread culture is bankrupt, so most all non-capital dominated cultures are rich in comparison.

        • John

          Interesting that you equate being white with being capitalist. I think the inhabitants of Russia, Dubai and Singapore might argue with you about that.

          I’m sorry that you hate your own culture.

          • marcos

            Russia, Dubai and Singapore are libertarian capitalist havens.

          • John

            Yes, thus proving that being white and being capitalist are independant notions.

            QED.

          • marcos

            White bread culture is bankrupt.

          • John

            And yet you enjoy living in it, and make money in the process.

            Sounds like you’re saying one thing and doing another. but then as a white male, you have that privilege i.e. of enjoying your privilege while claiming to hate on it.

          • marcos

            I try to be a race and culture traitor whenever possible.

          • John

            Read “hypocrite” for “traitor” and I’d agree.

            Does being a white-hating white feel similar to being a gentrification-hating gentrifier? Or a tech-hating techie?

            You have more issues than I can help you with.

        • marcos

          Oh, noes, the contradictions confuses his ivee leeg mind!

  4. Bryan

    actually john too, screw you both

  5. A mission local

    Well done Diana. This was a very classy and cultural way to celebrate your quinceañera ceremony. I’m sure all of your family was proud of you! Even though the ceremony was not celebrated here, she purchased from a local mission business that has been helping thousands of families celebrate this and other formal events. I grew up going to Latin Bridal for all my formal needs especially when I was a teenager. Unfortunately, quinceañeras are truly a dying tradition here in the mission. I hope Silvia’s family business will keep on thriving even through all these changes in our neighborhood.

  6. landline

    Juan’s comments mirror the opinions of many people who have been chased from this site (and the neighborhood) in whichever language he writes.

    Gracias, amigo.

    Neither the United States nor Mission Local has an official language despite the wishes of the English Only crowd.

    • John

      landline, you probably did not know this but the oral test given as part of the citizenship process is conducted only in English, except for immigrants over a certain age (70, I believe).

      Moreover, English is clearly the de facto national language since, unlike Canada, documents do not have to be printed in any other language (although some are).

      Beyond that, ML has a special Spanish-language section for those who prefer to discuss in that language. If it would be rude for me to go there and post in English, and I feel sure you would say it is, then it is rude to use Spanish here.

    • landline

      Raising, at best, tangential issues does not deny the fact that the United States has no official language.

      I think Russians and Arabs consider themselves “white” for whatever that may be worth for some rude racist’s categorizations.

      People can write comments in whatever language they choose. Why would I care?

      Vive Juan, vive.

      • John

        The reason I said that English is the DE FACTO national language was precisely because of the technicality of there being no official language.

        The fact that we all choose to discuss things here in English is just one fairly trivial symptom of that.

        English is far and away the most popular second language learned around the world. And the emphasis on learning Spanish here is anomolous. In Europe, schools teach English, German, french and even Italian more than Spanish.

        Generally demand for language tuition follows economic importance, which is why more people are now learning Mandarin. At my kids’ school, I specifically instructed that they not be taught Spanish, but rather learn French which, globally, is a much more important language.

    • Juan

      Gracias Landline!

      It’s sad to see that not only the culture and locals of the Mission are being pushed away, but also our opinions and protests are being critiqued by ignorants. We need to stop to all this. No hay que perder la lucha!

      • landline

        No problema, Juan. Lo siento si hay errores en mi uso de espanol. Se me olvido mucho. Trato de hablar espanol cuando quiero en este barrio y especialmente cuando viajo a paises hispanos.

        Hay un bobo en la casa. Es mejor ignorarle.

        • Juan

          No te preocupes. Lo importante es practicar el idioma cuando se pueda y no olvidarse de nuestra cultura. Me alegra que hagas esto. Y tienes mucha razón, cuando le respondemos al bobo, solo estamos hachando más leña al fuego. Ya entendí su juego pero me causa mucha gracia!

          • landline

            Gracias, Juan. Debo usar “pueda” en vez de “quiero” en mi otra nota.

            Hace mucho anos que estudi el espanol en mi escuela secundaria, mas de 30 anos.

          • marcos

            “Debría usada” would be the proper conjugation of the past conditional: I should have used.

            Deber is the auxiliary helping verb and usar is the predicate. Debría is deber conjugated in the conditional and combined with the past participle of usar leads to debría usada.

            Cuatro años de espanol en middle y high school me enseñó la idioma.

          • landline

            Thanks marcos for the grammar tip. Have you put plywood in front of your windows yet as a safety measure?

            I also don’t know the shortcuts for tildas and accents, and internet commentary is not worth enough time for me to do the research before posting.

          • marcos

            No problem, my first Spanish teacher had a sign up in the classroom that read “Poco a poco, se va lejos.”

            I’ve installed wireless infrared video cameras that peer out through our windows to catch the perps who have been rooting up our plantings on the sidewalk. They should catch any perps who take toilet* up on his goading to attack a citizen for participating in local politics.

            Similar to our “John,” I decided to dismiss “Chicken John” as chickenshit toilet. Perhaps we might further qualify “John” as “person so pathetic that he needs to pay others for sex.”

          • John

            marcos, progressing from fifth grade toilet humor would add to your personal and political credibility.

            Your windows are safe from me. I avoid your block because it always stinks of stale urine.

          • marcos

            Oh, noes, the vanities in the political bonfire might not find me credible, whatever will I do next?

          • John

            Probably exactly what you have done. Admit failure, stop being involved in the political process, and instead complain 24/7 on any blog that won’t ban you that you were right but were sold out by non-profits and political operators.

      • John

        Nobody is pushing Hispanics out of the Mission, Juan.

        But if some are choosing to leave, why is that wrong? Is there some optimal racial mix that you desire?

  7. Anna

    It’s surprising how most of Latin Bridal’s customers are from other parts of the bay area. I wonder if the locals of the Mission or SF who keep this tradition are purchasing elsewhere.

  8. Chris

    Gentrification, the high cost of living and in some cases, evictions have pushed most hispanic families to move out of the Mission and SF. Good to see that Diana is a local that keeps that tradition.

    • John

      Chris, increasing rents and evictions displace poorer people regardless of race. They displace poor whites but do not displace rich Hispanics.

      It would be really helpful for the debate here if people stopped gratuitously introducing race into the equation when there is zero evidence that any displacement is racially motivated.

      • Chris

        Excuse me John, did I ask for your opinion? Do I care? No.

        • John

          If you make a misguided assumption then someone is going to slap you down over it. If it’s not me, it will be someone else. No need to take it personally.

          Like I said, your playing of the race card is inappropriate. and there is zero evidence to support your claim that “most” Hispanic families have left the Mission. That is pure unfounded hyperbole.

          • Juan

            Excuse me, do you not understand English? I said I did not ask for your concerns. Is that clear?

          • John

            Hmm, it seems that “Juan” is really “Chris”

            At least try and keep your noms de plume straight.

            Anyway, Chris/Juan/Miguel/Landline, I am not aware that I need your permission to refute you.

          • landline

            Here’s the first comment that mentions race on this comment page:

            John
            March 2, 2014 at 7:07 am

            Miguel, you only ever mention culture in relation to things Hispanic.

            Do whites not have culture, in your opinion?

          • John

            No, the statement I responded to insinuated a cultural superiority. He rephrased his point in response, and the matter should have been left there except that you saw an opportunity for some cheap shots even though you evidently had no interest in the topic.

            More stalking, even without the handle-switching.

  9. GentrifySF

    Her business can survive if she moves it to a cheaper location, like the Excelsior or Crocker-Amazon. Close enough to the Mission and still on the 14 or 49 MUNI bus line. truth be told, she will not last much longer in her current space: rents will go up, and/or the business will dry up to the point where she can’t pay rent or break even.

    • John

      Yes, I think much of the whining about gentrification is little more than a form of snobbery.

      Not only does every Tom, Dick and Hector want to be in San Francisco but theyw ant to be in one of the more fashionable zip codes of San Francisco.

      Whatever happen to people cutting their cloth to fit their budget?

Comments are closed.