INDIGENOUS

By Alejandra Perez

“This is why it is infuriating when irresponsible publications like Vice Network publish documentaries that completely diminish my country’s fashion, who instead of mentioning the fact that the garment and textile industry generates a profit of $790 million annually, focus on ridiculing the plastic surgeries seen at Medellin Fashion Week whilst ensuring to somehow drop the word cocaine into the conversation (otherwise it wouldn’t be Vice).”

Welcome to Chapter 2, the most special section of the magazine to me. Don’t get me wrong, I have put my heart and soul into the entire publication but this particular segment discusses my heritage, my traditions and in a way, the spirit of Crave. ROOTS takes time to celebrate where you came from and how that contributes to the work you do, so, with pride I will introduce you to my most authentic self. I would not be who I am if I weren’t Latina: I am a proud woman, with a strong character and a mouth that runs too much; just like my mum, her mum and most South American women you will ever meet.

Colombia is a developing country; the contrast between social classes is too evident, with most of the people at the bottom of the pyramid living in inhumane conditions.  Unemployment is at a 10% rate, compared to 4.8% in the UK (with the difference that Colombia can’t afford to offer economic support to any of those in need). However, what we lack in money we have in resources as we are one of the world’s 17 mega-diverse countries, there are 130.000 different types of plants in the Amazon region and our coffee is the best.

Despite the beauty Colombia has to offer, as a result of long-lasting economical struggles, the fashion industry is not as strong as that of other second world countries. Only the rich have a disposable income large enough to allow them to spend money on expensive clothing, meaning that high-end designers struggle to make profits, which drives most of them abroad in the hopes of being stocked elsewhere and paid fairly. This is why I saw the need to create a chapter exclusive to Latinx but more so Colombia, I know there are plenty of talented creatives whose work is above the level of those who are privileged enough to get by on minimal talent. I want them to receive the recognition they so badly deserve but don’t due to the limitations of the industry, one example being that the only major fashion magazine available in Colombia is Vogue Spain.

To me, there is no feeling like seeing the work of diverse Colombians being appreciated by influential websites such as Business Of Fashion, which comes as no surprise when we have gifted individuals such as Johanna Ortiz, Nina Garcia, Esteban Cortazar and Edgardo Osorio- to name a few. This is why it is infuriating when irresponsible publications like Vice Network publish documentaries that completely diminish my country’s fashion, who instead of mentioning the fact that the garment and textile industry generates a profit of $790 million annually, focus on ridiculing the plastic surgeries seen at Medellin Fashion Week whilst ensuring to somehow drop the word cocaine into the conversation (otherwise it wouldn’t be Vice). I struggle to understand how a publication that prides itself on being ‘open-minded’ can not only shame women for their life choices but also reduce such a beautiful country to a war that has destroyed so many lives.

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