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Opening night of the Original fashion show at Los Pinos, Mexico City. FOTO: GRACIELA LÓPEZ / CUARTOSCURO.COM

‘Original’ fashion show and expo opens in Mexico City

This fashion event is on a mission to combat cultural appropriation and showcase indigenous artistry

The second edition of Original, a free fashion event organized by Mexico’s Ministry of Culture, kicked off on Thursday to promote designs by local artists and to fight cultural appropriation.

Running until Nov. 20 in Los Pinos – former presidential residence now turned cultural center – the fashion show will have seven runway shows displaying designs by local and international artists. The guest countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Ivory Coast, Palestine, Peru, Canada and Colombia.

“This is what we are celebrating here: Mexican cultural diversity, which is our greatest wealth,” Secretary of Culture Alejandra Frausto said during her opening speech.

She also remembered those “voracious characters who have appropriated” local designs with the sole intention of making a profit, inviting the audience to “[…] dress with dignity, buy original and never ever haggle with craftsmen.”

Since taking office, Frausto has promoted actions against cultural appropriation in the fashion industry, with the Original fashion show a highlight of her strategy. She has sent letters of protest to brands such as Zara, Mango, Levi’s, Oysho, Shein, Nike, Rapsodia, Louis Vuitton, Isabel Marant and Carolina Herrera accusing them of copying creations made by Mexican indigenous communities.

Finally, Frausto emphasized during her speech that Mexico is open to ethically collaborate with big brands so long as the original creators allow it.

With reports from El País

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