Opening of the “original” fashion fair and presentation in Mexico City

This fashion exhibition aims to expose indigenous art and fight cultural exploitation.

On Thursday, the second iteration of Original, a free fashion event put on by Mexico’s Ministry of Culture, began. Its goals are to support regional designers and combat cultural appropriation.

The fashion show, which runs until November 20 in Los Pinos, a former presidential mansion that is now a cultural hub, will feature seven runway presentations of works by regional and global designers. Argentina, Bolivia, Ivory Coast, Palestine, Peru, Canada, and Colombia are among the visiting nations.
The richness of Mexican culture, which is one of our greatest assets, is what we are commemorating here, said Alejandra Frausto, the secretary of culture, in her welcome address.

Inviting the audience to “[…] dress with dignity, purchase original, and never ever bargain with artisans,” she also recalled those “voracious people who have appropriated” indigenous styles with the sole purpose of earning a profit.

Frausto has pushed for measures to combat cultural appropriation in the fashion industry since she took office, with the Original fashion show serving as a focal point of her campaign. She has complained in writing to companies including Zara, Mango, Levi’s, Oysho, Shein, Nike, Rapsodia, Louis Vuitton, Isabel Marant, and Carolina Herrera, accusing them of stealing designs from indigenous communities in Mexico.

Frausto also made a point of saying that Mexico is willing to responsibly work with major companies as long as the original creators permit it throughout her remarks.

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