FOR AS LONG AS SHE CAN REMEMBER, Devin Vasquez has been immersed in art and car culture. “Pretty much since I was born,” says the 28-year-old maker, whose father, Chris Vasquez, is an airbrush artist for classic rides. “When I got my first car and really saw the time and effort and the art that went into it, I found it so appealing.”
While the Albuquerque resident follows the family lineage in creating intricate pinstripe patterns and detailed lettering for hot rods and lowriders, Vasquez has also applied her skills to other mediums. Her latest line includes vintage radios repurposed into stylish handbags, and old suitcases crafted into one-of-a-kind artworks.
Drawing inspiration from 1950s and ’60s culture for her pinup girl and rockabilly aesthetic, she seeks out her raw materials, including vinyl records for rose wall-hangings, at antique stores and estate sales. “I absolutely love to hunt for things,” says Vasquez, who drives a restored 1969 Volkswagen Beetle. “I love midcentury modern. I think the fashion, the architecture, the cars—it all flows so well together.”
A tinkerer at heart, Vasquez usually takes about a week to create one of her vintage-radio purses. First she cleans out all the parts, then upholsters the purse’s interior, and finally gives it a good coat of 1 Shot enamel paint. “I want them to last,” she says. “I want them to be different.”
Vasquez’s attention to detail, such as the microphone handle on her Jessica Rabbit–themed bag, is evident. “Every single one is completely unique,” she says.