A fashion designer from Chiapas has shown off his creations in the Big Apple at a New York Fashion Week event.
The indigenous Tzotzil designs of Alberto López Gómez, a native of the municipality of Aldama, were worn by runway models at the “American Indian Fashion Through the Feathers 2020” show in the New York borough of Staten Island on Sunday.
Among the garments presented were embroidered huipiles, as traditional loose-fitting tunics are known, and brightly colored dresses. All the pieces are made by hand and/or telar de cintura (a traditional backstrap loom) and can take years to produce, according to López.
The 31-year-old designer is the creator of the clothing brand K’uxul Pok, which means “living garment” in Tzotzil, a Mayan language spoken by the people of the same name.
López designs both women’s and men’s clothing for the brand as well as household items such as cushions and tablecloths. Some 150 women work with him to help make his vision a reality.
López traveled to the United States on the invitation of Harvard University, where he presented his designs and gave a lecture on January 31. He will also showcase his line at a solo fashion show in Manhattan on February 7.
López said in a video posted to Facebook that he was proud to represent Chiapas in the United States not just as a designer but also as a former campesino, or small-plot farmer, a worker and a speaker of Tzotzil.
While Sunday’s show, at which designers from Peru and India also showcased their garments, and the Harvard appearance were both a success, López did hit one stumbling block: his clothes almost didn’t arrive on time because they were held by U.S. customs for several days.