Denisse Kuri is a textile designer from Puebla, who has been collaborating with indigenous craftswomen in Mexico to create collections of garments and preserve the tradition of indigenous textiles since 2010.
The Puebla native is a graduate of the Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, but since her studies she has been inspired by indigenous textiles, and after living in Chiapas for a while, she was able to better understand and learn about the whole process involved in creating them.
She then decided to collaborate with indigenous craftswomen in "forgotten" communities in Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, without leaving aside her native state: Puebla.
This is how her brand was born in 2010; in other words, she is about to celebrate 11 years of existence.
"I identified very much with indigenous textiles, because for me, fashion has always been like expressing myself, and indigenous textiles have a lot of history, they have a lot of meaning, and besides, they have a lot of value for our culture and for the craftswomen (...) all the time they dedicate, the passion, the heart, and this called me a lot, I fell in love with it," she told Poblanerías.
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Inspiration and collaboration
For Denisse, it is important that when the fashion community is inspired by Mexican artisans' designs, they collaborate with them and not fall into cultural appropriation, as has happened on some occasions:
"In Mexico we have a lot of cultural richness, and obviously it's great that it attracts the attention of other designers in other countries and that they want to bring it to their brands, but if they are going to do it, they should do it in a way that is good, that they work together with the artisans who make those embroideries or those fabrics (...) And that maybe they are not going to make a million garments, but that they make a special collection, where they make a super exclusive collection of so many pieces and that the work is done with these communities", she said.
She explains that the process to design the Denisse Kuri brand collections is to experiment with the techniques of indigenous craftswomen: weaving and embroidery, mainly. In addition to the responsibility of sustainability.
"90% of our fabrics are handmade, in backstrap loom or treadle loom, so we have more impact on the groups we work with and besides, we avoid wasting fabrics", she said.
In that sense, she said that the main goal of the brand is that people can use the garments whenever they want, not only a few times, but as many times as they want, since the quality allows it.
From black and white to color...
Denisse Kuri's 2021 collection is Del blanco y negro al color... (From black and white to color...) She explains that they are black and white garments, with the purpose of "wearing them always and forever", although they are inspired by the colors of Mexico, with the same strength and impact of the fabrics and embroideries they display.
"We transmit the feelings and the impact that the colors have on us, through our fabrics and embroideries", she mentioned.
She highlights in her collection the use of jonote fiber, a fiber characteristic of Cuetzalan, a municipality in Puebla, which is taken from the tree and then woven to produce mainly belts and tops.
"Also from the new collection, there is a thread that we made with silk, which a group of artisans in Oaxaca makes, who do the whole process of breeding, spinning ... and we had never taken it to the embroidery, so here it is", she added.
Puebla talent at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week México
Denisse participated in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Mexico held in Puebla, representing local talent, as well as the designs for which she collaborates with indigenous craftswomen. At the event she presented her collection "Del Blanco y negro al color...".
"I am very grateful for the effort to put Puebla (as a venue). I am super happy and super grateful to be part of this movement and this effort," she said.
But the designer wasn't the only one from Puebla participating in the event, which took place between July 30 and August 1st, 2021.
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Miguel Ángel Caro, marketer and National Public Relations Director of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week since 2019, who has lived in Mexico City for approximately six years, during which time he has gained experience to reach his current position, will also participate.
The poblano also works at the marketing agency COLOüRSCMX, which is in charge of handling public relations for the event, but also for other platforms.
"The fact that we can communicate that fashion is not just clothes, is super important for us, something that we have been watching from platform these last two-three years, is that people get more involved, yes in the fashion part, but also understand that it is culture, which is tradition, which is not only enough to see an elaborate piece, but that behind it there is a whole research, a whole inspiration", he mentioned to Poblanerías.
Meanwhile, he reiterated the importance of promoting and recognizing local talent, such as the Denisse Kuri brand.
"We are going to have the parade of one of the most iconic designers of the state and that nationally is also having a super super super momentum: Denisse Kuri," he said.
He assures that the event will connect culture and fashion, also highlighting local gastronomy, such as mole poblano, chalupas, among other dishes, without forgetting the chile en nogada that celebrates its 200 years of existence this 2021.