FEATURE: Brazilian Fashion designer Carol Barreto “VOZES Collection: Fashion and Ancestries” at Black Fashion Week Paris

January 15, 2016

Carol Barreto is a black feminist fashion designer from Bahia, Brazil and last month her collection “VOZES Collection: Fashion and Ancestries” showed at Black Fashion Week in Paris. Barreto, a PhD Multidisciplinary Postgraduate Program in Culture and Society, approaches design from an academic lens with consideration for conscious consumption of fashion and non-exploitative ethnic and multi-cultural representation. “VOZES” was inspired by the quilombos and traditional African communities of Barreto’s native Recôncavo Baiano.

“The VOZES collection evokes a debate about post-colonialism and questions: What does it mean to be the product of a country that was colonized? How do colonized peoples find ways to resist? The clothes show those forms of resistance through the mix of diverse materials, which bring features from the European colonizers adapted and remodeled by our African legacy in a unique multicultural result. It is not ethnical fashion, but a fashion that shows the roots of Brazil without exoticism and stereotypes. In this story, handicrafts were key for the maintenance of the luxury of privileged groups, as well as the living conditions of many working families. Therefore, the VOZES collection was created from the universe of patchwork, adopting the principle of socio-environmental sustainability, using textile waste recycling techniques.”

Barreto was the only representative and first black fashion designer from Brazil to present at Black Fashion Week Paris. Barreto collaborated on this collection with partner designers Karin Dolores, Maria Viana, Carla Calixto, and Ju Fonseca.

By Erin White, AFROPUNK contributor