Friday 2 June 2023

Dressmaker works with prisoners to bring exclusive collection to New York Fashion Week

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Costa Rican fashion designer Karina Díaz will present next month, at New York Fashion Week 2019, her collection that will have a very special mark: it will be full with the effort of a group of inmates of the Centro de Atención Institucional (CAI) Vilma Curling, better known as the “Buen Pastor” prison for women located in Desemparados.

Costa Rican fashiol designer Karina Díaz (standing) gives workshops to teach a group of women  prisones to sew for her  exclusive designs

On Monday, the prison workshops through which a group of selected, began the task of learning the techniques to sew caps, hats, and bracelets, among other items.

The idea of using the labor of inmates came about during a meeting with the Minister of Justice, Marcia González Aguiluz, at the Fashion Week San José 2019 (the most important fashion event in the country).

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“I have a collection that we are going to present in New York and is inspired by them (prisoners). They will deliver the advances of the collection weekly. The Minister learned of the project and made the proposal to involve them. I thought it was excellent because that way they can support their families,” said the designer.

Diaz said she was happy of the willingness and desire to learn from the women’s group.

Fashion Week New York 2019 will take place from September 9 to 12, when representatives of large chain stores will come in search of innovative products for the new sales season.

For the prisoners, this represents a unique opportunity in life. The workers received another great news: Mexican artists Jesse and Joy, as well as the Chilean Myriam Hernández, will receive as a gift some of the creations.

“The collection is going to New York? I never imagined that something like this could happen to me; It’s pride. This drives us to move forward; we are very excited,” said Claudia Muñoz, one of the workshop participants.

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Her companion Lisbeth Paisajo wants to learn something new now that he has little time before being released. “I have a 4-year-old daughter. This is an opportunity to help my family and learn something new. I’m going to take advantage of it,” she said.

Minister González was pleased with the project. “I am glad that the products that the designer Karina Díaz will present at the New York Fashion Week will have the stamp of women with stories of the life of struggle and their overcoming.”

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The Ministry of Justice promotes employment occupation and prison training strategy “Building Opportunities” as a way to promote the social reintegration of prisoners.


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