The Mexican Ministry of Culture has brought together dozens of designers in Mexico City’s vast Pines Park to champion the historic know-how of its textile artisans.
Mexico is ushering in the hour of its counter-offensive against the plagiarism of the ancestral know-how of its textile artisans, by inviting foreign designers for a weekend to dialogue with indigenous communities to lay the groundwork for fairer fashion.
It’s a display of power by the Ministry of Culture, which has brought together dozens of indigenous creators in the vast Pines Park (los Pinos), the former residence of Mexican presidents returned to the public by current head of state Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. †
Until Sunday, this fair is titled “Original Mexican textile art» offers clothing and accessories for sale, such as the essential «huipil», traditional white cotton blouse with delicately embroidered patterns.
When the temperatures drop into the night, the open-air market ends with two fashion shows resembling native pride marches, renamed in this park “official residence of the people of Mexicoby Minister of Culture Alejandra Frausto.
Above all, the government wanted a militant rally against the plagiarism of the patterns, embroidery and glittering colors of the communities of Chiapas or Oaxaca by foreign fashion houses. †Plagiarism is not a tribute“, repeated Friday at the inauguration Alejandra Frausto, speaking of”theft†
The minister is pleased to have received an apology a year ago from a French designer, Isabelle Marant, who had used the traditional patterns of the Purepecha community for one of her coats. A representative from the Isabel Marant house will arrive on Saturday to speak directly with native artisans, as well as that of a major Spanish designer, Agatha Ruiz De la Prada.
Two young designers who had come especially from Paris sat around a table on Friday chatting with Ignacio Netzahualcoyotl and his partner Christian Janat, who heads a workshop in the state of Tlaxcala in eastern Mexico. †Plagiarism is the result of a lack of communication. Communication leads to agreements» sums up Mr. Netzahualcoyotl after the meeting.
†We demand that our work is paid fairly. The price should take into account the design, the patterns, the number of hours worked … that’s what we talked about today with these two designers“, he adds after meeting the two Parisians”serapé(decorative piece of fabric).
†We want to find a point of agreement with the craftsmen we will be working withadded Parisian stylists Théophile Delaeter, co-creator of the Calher Delaeter brand with French-Mexican Alonso Calderon Hernandez.
The road is still long. In the aisles of the market, native artisans complain that they have found more or less beautiful specimens of their fabric on the Internet. †A few months ago we fought because we found a huipil reproduced by computersaid Candy Margarita de la Cruz Santiago, a young seamstress from the state of Oaxaca.
Laws are made:In accordance with new regulations that we have since last year, it is necessary to have the written consent of the communities when this type of textile art will be used for profit.explains a representative of the National Institute of Copyright, Marco Antonion Morales Montes. Mexico is also asking for a discussion within the World Intellectual Property Organization, he adds.
Finally, Marta Serna Luis, 58, a recognized craftsman of the weaving profession, gave the end point and ultimate goal of this parade by stating: “The law must be enforced against plagiarism. This is theft.†
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