May 10 2018

NYC Love Story: Cynthia Cervantes and Travis Gumbs

New York-The Standard Interview
The Save the Date for their wedding made Vogue stop in their tracks. Cynthia Cervantes and Travis Gumbs are used to having that effect on people as the minds behind Maroon World, their biannual publication and creative studio. Together the couple works with brands like adidas and Malin + Goetz to create spectacular campaigns and pop-up installations, while simultaneously producing their influential photography magazine. Oh, and they're also planning their summer 2018 wedding in Cynthia's native Mexico. Before they skip town for the big day, the duo fooled around the Empire Suite at The Standard, High Line and gave us a little insight into how they tick.  
The Standard
The Standard
The Standard
THE STANDARD: How did you meet?
CYNTHIA: We met five years ago at an Everyday People party, a party that our friend Saada Ahmed does. Our mutual friend there said to me, "Have you met my friend Travis? He thinks you're really cute." And then he went over to Travis and told him that I thought he was really fine. He lied to both of us. Travis was then really feeling himself because he thought I thought he was cute, which I didn't say, so he asked me to dance. We were freaky, crazy dancing, which I never do, to the point where one of my friends came over to me and was like, "Are you OK?"
The Standard
What's your relationship dynamic?
TRAVIS: We work together in every part of our lives. In terms of work, she just has great taste. When we do a shoot, she'll art direct and pick the selects. In terms of our house, she's a way better cook than I am.
 
CYNTHIA: Travis brings this very unique and interesting perspective. I'm very by the book. I'm always thinking of the worst-case scenario and Travis is constantly thinking so far outside the box. He pushes me to not take things so seriously. He's so insanely smart.
 
TRAVIS: Oh, thank you! [Laughs.]
 
 [She covers his ears.]
 
CYNTHIA: He's bordering on genius sometimes. If I come up with an idea, he'll figure out exactly how to make it.
The Standard
The Standard
The Standard
Other than Maroon World, what's your favorite project you've worked on together?
TRAVIS: Our home. That's actually how we started working together creatively. We moved in together and because I'm so visual and she's so visual, it became a battle of, "No, this has to be like this." So, we had to collaborate on our apartment. And it just so happened that we had a house warming party, and two of our friends were like, "Can you do my apartment?" It’s definitely a constant exercise because even when we're not working on something, we live together. We're both equally anal about things.

The visual style of Maroon World is so powerful. What do you hope to convey with the magazine?
TRAVIS: We get inspiration from just walking around our neighborhood, Bed-Stuy, so that's where the idea came from. It's to showcase that there's beauty in everything, in all cultures, especially the cultures that people don’t think of as the traditional standard of beauty.
 
CYNTHIA: It's to celebrate ourselves, to say our lives are so beautiful and complex and there's so much that we all have in common.
The Standard
The Standard
The Standard
What's next for Maroon World?
TRAVIS: We're working on Volume 3. We're also working on a writing program for Riker's Island. It's a non-profit and we'll be publishing poetry and photography together.
 
CYNTHIA: Also, our wedding!
 
TRAVIS: It's funny because people always ask us what we're working on next, and our wedding is two months away, it's in Mexico, and we have 100 people flying in. That's literally taking up all of our time.
 
Can you tell me anything about it?
TRAVIS: I can't even tell you anything because I can't speak Spanish. [Laughs.]
 
CYNTHIA: It's going to be on my dad's ranch and it's going to be very country- and family-oriented.
 
TRAVIS: I'm taking a Spanish class. I couldn't speak to anyone the last time we were there. [Laughs.] I literally couldn't talk.
 
Writer
Elena Feldman
Photographer
Elvin Tavarez