For the past four years, Stephanie Bergara has honored the spirit of Selena through her tribute project, Bidi Bidi Banda, but the Tejana music icon has been her artistic inspiration and style muse since she was a child.
She has a distinct memory of watching Selena perform at the Tejano Music Awards in 1993. The singer’s pop panache blew her 8-year-old mind.
"She had this red lipstick and her hair was slicked back and she had all these rhinestones, and I just became obsessed with kind of obtaining that look," she says.
For her first couple of years leading the Banda, Bergara did exactly that. She rocked rhinestones aplenty. She slicked her hair. She broke out the Bedazzler to handcraft detailed replicas of outfits Selena wore, including the red sequin bustier from the ’93 Tejano Awards. It was a labor of love.
Until it wasn’t.
"The fact of the matter is, I am not a Selena-looking Latina. And that’s OK," she says. "So, the best decision I ever made with the band was just, one morning I woke up and it was, like, 103 degrees outside, and I’m like, ‘I’m not wearing that damn outfit. I’m not putting that on. I’m just going to wear my own makeup and put a nice dress on and curl my hair and hope for the best, and hope that’s going to work out.’"
It worked out beautifully.
Read more about Bergara and her band, and how she balances work, performing and motherhood, in our ongoing Sound Style series on our premium website.