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Fundación Rediseñándonos (Redesigning ourselves)

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My name is Diamantina Arcoiris. I am 42 years old and have had a career in the fashion industry in Colombia for 25 years.

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and grew up in my parents' clothing factory, in a traditional middle-class family.
From a very young age, I enjoyed sewing and fashion design. Along with my 4 siblings, we learned to be part of the production chain during childhood, but it was only me who continued with the family tradition.

I had my first successful brand, AERODINAMIC, at the age of 18. At the time, we were already facing the issue of my brother Camilo's substance abuse in the family. However, I never imagined that he would become the crying rally of my life's project.

In 2016, when we learned the truth about Camilo, the organic search for scenarios where I met with young people living on the streets to embroider began. Embroidery seemed to be something portable and easy that would help the creation of bonding and establishing the initial contact with them.

In 2018, I moved to the Santa Fe neighborhood and opened the cultural house "Amor Real" (Real Love). Initially, I called it "REDISEÑÁNDONOS" (REDESIGNING OURSELVES) because that was exactly what we were doing, embroidering while dreaming of a better version of ourselves.

"Rediseñándonos" is our main project, which we brought here to Singapore as a replica of our space in Bogota. It aims to help people with substance abuse and those who are homeless in various ways to break out of their consumption routines through embroidery, which is extremely valuable for them. I enjoyed seeing how they spent nights embroidering, even in altered states. You know? it reminded me of when we were kids and my mom would have us embroider during the school holidays to keep us busy. Perhaps I found that path deep in my subconscious. Gradually, embroidery framed moments of collective healing, magical instances where something so unusual brought us together and became a ritual.

During the pandemic, the project became central to me; suddenly, we were one big family, the Astral Family. We invented ways to live together and solve problems, and we created better and better garments. That year, I won the Prince Claus Award, and with the money, everyone could start paying for their room and gradually reintegrate into society. It seemed like we had overcome 90% of homelessness in our community.

Our public recognition began; we appeared on TV and held fashion shows where they modeled, and their self-esteem began grow.
Now they are artisans, and they have made progress and have dignified their lives with this craft.

Homeless people would arrive wrapped in the legendary tiger blankets (the ones we have outside on the columns) that have been phased out of circulation, and as more and more people arrived, we became filled with blankets. So, we created a coat made from that raw material and positioned it within Bogotá's popular culture. Today, the 4 Tigers blanket coat is one of our ICONS, and people recognize it and buy it for the fantastic story behind it.

Gradually, we began to serve other populations, and other projects were born in addition to Rediseñándonos: Afrodita TRANS is our project made by and for the Queer community, where through tailoring workshop and fashion shows, we annually bring together many diverse people and create a festival commemorating the International Trans Visibility Day at the end of March. The house has become a creative laboratory where one learns and builds a path of new job opportunities alternative to sex work.

Aluna Ancestral is our project for the indigenous community. Our country has been plagued by war for the past 70 years. Entire families of peasants and indigenous people have been displaced from their territories and have migrated to the city, finding themselves in unworthy living situations. In our house, we try to create fashion products that integrate ancestral weaving knowledge with modern interpretation, allowing them to survive in the city and helping us add these ancient techniques and some of the cosmogony of the people into our creations.

And lastly, RESISTANCE, which is our fourth project that works hand in hand with recyclers. On the one hand, it's a cleaning brigade, beauty salon, and a free store for them, using the clothes we collect through donation campaigns, and on the other hand, it's the integration and search for raw materials in the garbage to incorporate them into the garments of our new brand, Portal 22. This brand arises from the need to create garments that are not embroidered and are more easily marketable, such as blanket coats and other products being made in the workshop school by the involved youth, inspired by the scourge of homelessness.

We dream of selling our products in large alternative design markets like Dover Street Market, and we also hope to soon become the first center for handmade embroidery by people who are homeless and to serve other brands with this service.

Donations (1)

  • Yulie González
    • €45 
    • 3 d
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