‘Queen of the South’ Had to Remake Teresa Mendoza’s Alexander McQueen Suit From Scratch

The USA TV series Queen of the South promises Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga) will finally wear the white Alexander McQueen suit. You see her in it at the beginning of each season in a flash-forward, but Season 5 is when the present catches up. The only problem was, the original McQueen suit disappeared.

Teresa Mendoza points a gun while wearing her white suit
Alice Braga | USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Queen of the South writer and co-showrunner Benjamin Lobato spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about the show’s final season. He explained how they had to recreate the McQueen suit in order to bring Teresa’s story full circle. 

Two Alexander McQueen suits disappeared from ‘Queen of the South’

Not everyone can afford to dress like the Queen of the South. You have to be a mogul like Teresa. However, you can get close if you work on a show like Queen of the South.

“The suit that was used, it was like a $5000 suit originally,” Lobato said. “We shot the pilot in Mexico City. After we wrapped, the suit mysteriously disappeared. I think in season 2, maybe we got another suit. Somewhere along the lines, that suit disappeared. So coming into season 5, we had to find that suit. So we went on a hunt. We could not find the suit anywhere.”

‘Queen of the South’ tried to make their own Alexander McQueen suit

There’s only one Alexander McQueen. So when Queen of the South costume designer Mercedes Cook tried to do it herself, she couldn’t quite get it exactly right.

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“So our amazing costume designer, Mercedes, she tried to make the suit,” Lobato said. “What she ended up having to do was she went and watched a documentary and she did a ton of research to figure out what is the magic behind the suit? We can make a duplicate based upon the photographs and images we have of that suit from different places, but for some reason, it just doesn’t look the same. Why doesn’t it look the same?”

The secret of Alexander McQueen

Cook did discover McQueen’s secret. That’s also what made it so difficult to replicate. 

“What she figured out was it’s completely hand sewn,” Lobato said. “That was one of the things that she found out so she had to go about finding someone. They went on I would say a four day no sleep marathon hand stitching the entire suit together. I don’t want to say it’s a carbon copy but it’s as close as anybody in the universe will ever get. It was a real thing because we needed to get back to that original.”

People are selling ‘Queen of the South’ suits

Lobato added an epilogue to the Alexander McQueen suit story. Another one popped up after they wrapped Queen of the South, and it made Lobato suspicious.

Queen of the South star Alice Braga
Alice Braga | USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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“The funny thing is after we made our own suit, one popped up in an auction as the Teresa Mendoza suit,” Lobato said. “It sold very quickly. I don’t know how much it went for but we thought it was really interesting that people were advertising it in the auction as the Teresa Mendoza suit. Now, it may have actually been the suit that she wore in the pilot. We don’t know. We don’t have any background information on that, but that’s how it was advertised.”