Homage or Theft? Carolina Herrera Called by Mexican Minister

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The commitments in the current debate on fashion, cultural appropriation and racism, in which public brands were called out and expanded, from Gucci to H & M to produce products that show historic ignorance or strike. it may benefit from the work of others, be raised.

This week, Mexican cultural minister Alejandra Frausto wrote a letter to Carolina Herrera, New York's fashion brand, convincing him to use embroidery techniques and patterns specific to some Mexican indigenous communities in the 2020 option collection, which was depicted in a series of appointments last week at Herrera headquarters in the garment area. (The letter was first reported in El País.)

The collection, in sunrise shades, was inspired, Wes Gordon, the current creative director of the label, told the lifestyle of his founder, Mrs Herrera, who is Venezuelan, and the idea of ​​“a Latin holiday.” T Gordon and her husband's journey had made a trip to Mexico, as he said, “his beauty interrupted him.” The notes that were issued at the time show “Sunrise in Tulum; Lima light; Strolls in Mexico City; The waves of José Ignacio; Dance in Buenos Aires; Cartagena Colors. ”

But the collection included floral and bird embroidery on strapless dresses, perforated leather coats and doll-child cocktail dresses mentioned by Miss Frausto as part of the Tenango de Doria community in Hidalgo, as well as a knitted stripe shirt which she saw like a serape. from Saltillo.

Very successful with the internet, as in such cases.

When Mr. Gordon photos from the line on his personal Instagram page, were very concerned about the comments.

In his letter, Mr Frausto wrote, “This is a matter of ethical consideration which requires us to speak out and give an urgent issue to the UN's sustainable development program: promoting inclusion and seeing those that are invisible.”

Herrera, owned by Spanish fashion and beauty group, Puig, did not send a public response to any of its social media channels, he issued a clear apology or disclosed plans for compensation; rather, he made an anodyne fair statement by suggesting that Mexico always praised and celebrated the collection. He said partially: “The distinctive fashion house recognizes the wonderful and varied craft and textile work of Mexican craftsmen, the collection inspired by the rich colors and craft techniques of culture.” T

The statement went on to say that Mrs Herrera was “a big fan of Mexican” and that Mr Gordon wanted to show his great respect for the traditional techniques and features of Mexican craftsmanship and to celebrate it at the level of haute couture craft. ”

However, in a phone call, Mr Gordon said the label was in internal talks about the actions he would take in response.

“We want to do what it takes to make everyone feel very happy with that collection that we felt when it was doing,” he said, saying that he and Mrs Herrera hadn't spoken to him. issue since then, as creative director of his responsibility.

“We are going through a major social change in how we talk about gender, culture and identity,” he continued. “These are important discussions. We take this seriously. ”

As for others, as the issue of Herrera emphasizes how traditional problems continue to grow in traditional fashion practices. For example, the industry is paying "homage" to various ethnic rituals and cultures from the Russian collection Yves Saint Laurent in 1976. The Metropolitan City Clothing Institute held a full show in 2015 dedicated to Western designers' views of China were almost a study of appropriation over the past century. For many years the “inspirational journey” to a long-standing site searching for new materials, shades and shapes to expand a repository was a fundamental practice of most houses (at least until no actual physical movement was required). on the Internet).

In fact, in many ways the designer formula was: Take smidgen of silhouette here, dash decorations from that, sprinkle with an artistic or architectural touch and voilà! – new collection. This is certainly the case in Herrera, where Mr Gordon accepted the signature dictionary of the house – the venue, the novel on the lawn – and mixing those who had more unexpected designs for life. new to him.

That is, now, because of our connected world, the people who are “inspired” are more aware than ever, and have begun to consider the outcome less than stolen – and to call. The other unforeseen designs occur with the signature of another. Just because that signature doesn't belong to a particular designer it doesn't mean it's fair.

But since most of the fashion designs do not enjoy intellectual property safeguards, there is little assistance for an aggrieved party other than designation and shame.

But this is in response to the current situation, however, it is not entirely clear. And obviously there is a difference between racism (as Dolce shows, Gucci – a black turtleneck ink – and Prada) and appropriation, although there is a tendency to compromise them under the category of Mass-Fashions Fashion.

When it relates to appropriation, anyway, most of the designer lender does not anticipate malicious, although it is a great old-colonial mentality when used. Ignorance is not an excuse; than there's history. (The history is full of terrible precedent, which is now recognized for what it is.)

“We are currently and we understand that what we have done before is not always more,” said Steven Kolb, chief executive of the American Fashion Designers Council, who also said he believed Mr. Gordon had only the best intentions. “We are all at a point where we need to do better.”

The issue is how do you discourage designers to that reality, rather than placing them in a single protective zone?

The end result of this particular trend is that, after all, designers and the brands they work to be as worried about offending have to stop watching the outside world, define their aesthetic sharply. Their only experience is their creative fodder. And it does not serve them or ourselves. New ways of becoming in a changing world do not come. Stasis stems from.

Fashion, more than most of the industries, was established on the principle of cross-pollination cultural. Like most of the cross pollination, it has produced remarkable, clear results. That he did so in such a way that it was not possible to say that some of the people involved were poorly attending. That he must reconsider his practices and systems so that everyone at the board is in doubt. (This must start at fashion school level.)

“There is an opportunity to work with the people of these communities,” said Mr Kolb – rather than borrowing from them.

If this happens in an equality atmosphere – financial and aesthetic – rather than just one discrimination, everyone will benefit. The question is that, when a government minister's authority is put to the crowd, is it already too late?

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