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Adriana pavon fashion designer

Mexican roots inspired Adriana Pavon, fashion designer and indigenous rights advocate

Adriana Pavon profile 3_FotorAdriana Pavon is the new breed of Latina entrepreneur who is fast setting the trend for others in this country and the world. A woman of many unique talents, Adriana is not only a stylist extraordinaire but also a fashion designer with a strong passion for her Mexican roots.

Adriana is the creator of Mexico Culture & Pride (Mexico Cultura y Orgullo), an initiative inspired by traditional Mexican textiles and fashion accessories designs that employs artisans and crafters from indigenous cultures around the country.

Mexico Culture & Pride’s first project is a Frida Kahlo-inspired collection that is planned to be exhibited in major international markets.

“This is a project of love for our communities and culture and preserves the heritage for our future generations.  We are currently working on our fair trade commerce certification and on a new collection that will be sold at high-end stores in Paris and Japan,” she announced in an exclusive interview with LatinasinBusiness.us.

So how did success come to fashion designer Adriana Pavon?

Adriana’s beginnings are humble. Born into a family of garment workers in Mexico City, she grew up in Los Angeles, CA. Adriana states that even when she was young, she always played around with fabrics and tried to make fancy garments.

Adriana Pavon fashion designer 3“At the time I was not thinking of becoming a designer but there was just something that attracted me to mixing colors and textures,” she said.Adriana Pavon fashion designer

As she grew older, Adriana began to see the different trends in L.A. in the arts, culture, and ultimately fashion. While she was making a name for herself, her work began to attract the attention of other fashion designers.

After she moved to Detroit, she saw the potential in the local fashion designers community and started traveling the country to look for resources and venues willing to help her feature Detroit designers nationally.

In an interview with WNYC, she said, “The creative outpouring in this city is amazing. I could choose San Francisco or L.A. but I live in Detroit by choice because there isn’t another place where you could come up with an idea and have such a large community ready to share and collaborate with you.” In 2010, Adriana’s fashion line won the Fashion in Detroit Local Designer Award.

Adriana Pavon fashion designer 2

Mexico awaited bigger adventures

She was soon consulting for other businesses and it was on one trip to Mexico that her eyes opened to a bigger adventure in life. She had always been captivated with the local Mexican design industry run by indigenous artisans who used natural fabrics to create intricate and vibrant designs.

But she also observed that the older textile traditions in Mexico were rapidly dying, mainly due to the globalization of textiles and the use of synthetic materials.

Adriana Pavon profile with Frida

Adriana Pavon with Frida Kahlo’s mural (courtesy of Adriana Pavon)

Further, Adriana also noted that her people had no say in what happened to their productions, which were frequently sold all over the continental USA and even Europe.

“While working with the indigenous artisans, I was surprised to know that they become the victims of plagiarism. The indigenous textile traditions that have been a historical part of Mexican culture are being sold across Europe without any compensation for their intellectual work or that of their communities,” she explained.

Adriana felt passionate about these injustices. She wanted to help locals become innovative and yet receive credit and money for their work.

The Mexico Culture and Pride initiative

Adriana Pavon with artesans

Adriana Pavon with Oaxacan artisans

Adriana has always been fiercely proud of her Mexican roots and she desperately wanted to help revive its cultural traditions and the arts. She was impressed by the work ethics of Mexican artisans and soon was heavily invested in the project. She even sacrificed her lifestyle so that her project would come to fruition.

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Adriana Pavon fashion designer

Adriana Pavon and her Mexico Culture & Pride team

To help boost the Mexican design industry, she recruited top-notch professionals in many related sectors to help Mexican locals thrive and show their talents on a global arena. Some of the clients who helped her were “Project Runway Latin America” and “Mexico’s Next Top Model.”

Mexico Culture and Pride displayToday, Adriana is admired as a leader among the local artisans who revere her work ethic and consider her a role model as a female entrepreneur. For years she dreamed of rejuvenating the culture and preserving the artistic talents of her Latino counterparts, who had no voice.

“This is a very personal achievement to me,” she said. “Currently I have satellite offices in NYC, LA, Detroit, Mexico City, and Oaxaca, Mexico. We are selling our products exclusively through distributors who apply on our website,” Adriana explained.

As far advice for the younger generation who wants to follow in her footsteps, Adriana advises listening to their heart. “Bringing out what is in your heart helps you stay unique and develop your own brand. You will find more satisfaction in your own inspiration than in that of others,” she told LIBizus.

For those of you interested in Adriana Pavon’s designs and fabrics, you can visit her at Mexico Culture & Pride, where she is now announcing her exclusive getaways.

 

How designer Adriana Pavon is aiding indigenous artists during Covid-19

Adriana Pavon is a Mexican designer and founder of Mexico Culture & Pride (México Cultura y Orgullo). Passionate about celebrating her Mexican roots and honoring her culture, Adriana created Mexico Culture & Pride as an initiative to support indigenous artists. With cultural appropriation running rampant in the fashion industry, Adriana’s focus is to celebrate and uplift authentic Mexican designs and artistry. 

Photo courtesy of Adriana Pavon

Mexico Culture & Pride offers various programs for designers to get involved. The Mexican Lab is a cultural residency program open to socially conscious companies who embrace green, sustainable businesses. The program focuses on designing authentic Mexican products, respecting small businesses, helping to secure employment, and preventing migration issues and family separation. 

The Mexican Hub is a residency program in Oaxaca, Mexico. Its goal is to foster cultural identity and welcome diversity. Through the Hub program, guests are welcomed into the residency to explore projects in the realm of textile design, eco design, sustainability, wellness, dance, human relations, and social work. 

Lastly, the Mexican Pro program focuses collaboration by building alliances with Mexican artists.

Since the pandemic began, Adriana has been doubling her efforts in aiding indigenous artists during Covid-19. 

Photo courtesy of Adriana Pavon

COVID-19’s impact on indigenous communities

Indigenous communities have been some of the hardest hit communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Indigenous communities are already vulnerable, experiencing significantly higher rates of communicable and non-communicable diseases, poor access to health care and essential services, sanitation, and other preventative measures such as access to soap and water for frequent hand-washing. 

Another debilitating factor is the lack of access to resources in indigenous languages. Governments in Latin American countries “have focused their resources primarily on urban populations speaking dominant languages,” such as Spanish and Portuguese, but have not put much effort into making these resources accessible to rural, indigenous populations. 

Indigenous Artists of Mexico Culture & Pride (Photo courtesy of Adriana Pavon)

With lockdown measures in place, indigenous communities are also experiencing food insecurity and a loss of their traditional livelihoods. For artisans who make their livelihood through street vending and markets, the quarantine has been a devastating financial blow.

Government aid has been sporadic and difficult to obtain for indigenous artists who must meet very specific criteria to be considered. Because of this, many are looking to other avenues for aid and support during this time, but still the financial insecurity is causing much stress to indigenous artists with many now worrying that it will not be the virus that kills them, but hunger

Without tourism and street traffic, and with non-essential businesses forced to close, there is no market for Mexican artisans who live day-to-day relying on sales to make their income. This has been one of the many challenges Adriana has been working to address through Mexico Culture & Pride. 

“Our main source of income was financial solidarity trips where our guests were allies to visit the artist shops, experience unique culinary experiences with top chefs, and visit cultural spaces besides the regular fun tourism,” says Adriana. “With a hold on those visits, it’s taken a toll on many of the artists I support and it’s been challenging trying to support them from far away. We’ve been innovating and preparing for a new economy. Documenting, digitizing, and promoting ethical sourcing as a base to good business and a healthy planet.” 

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Aiding indigenous artists 

As a designer during the pandemic, Adriana has been working to provide more opportunities for indigenous artists. 

Aiding indigenous artists during Covid-19 has been at the forefront of Adriana’s business endeavors. She is focusing on connecting artists with wholesale clients who want to buy wholesale directly from the artists and make exclusive collections for them. 

“The main talking point is innovation,” she says. Finding new ways for local artisans to distribute their works. She encourages entrepreneurs who believe in ethical relationships to consider purchasing wholesale from indigenous artists and to support authentic cultural designs directly from the artists. 

Authentic Mexican creations (Photo courtesy of Adriana Pavon)

Adriana is also working on a new line of collections that will be aligned with people and planet-friendly actions. She plans to use this line to support various educational opportunities for indigenous women and is looking exclusively for women investors to launch the line. 

“I feel [women investors] would better understand the importance of this collection,” says Adriana, “so I’m waiting to fill the last 3 spots available.” 

Additionally, purchases made through Mexico Culture & Pride’s online shop, Tekiosk, will go toward aiding indigenous artists during Covid-19 who have been financially impacted by the pandemic. These purchases will help continue to support vulnerable indigenous communities so that they can stay safe at home.