Young Black designer dresses Colombian vice-president in 'resistance' fashion


Esteban Sinisterra works on a dress on a mannequin in his studio in Cali, Colombia. Photo: Reuters

Esteban Sinisterra, a young Black fashion designer from Colombia's largely-poor Pacific region, is dressing vice-president Francia Marquez – the first Afro-Colombian woman to hold the post – in what he calls "resistance" fashion.

Sinisterra, whose colourful patterned dresses for Marquez have drawn international attention, grew up in the municipality of Santa Barbara Iscuande, in Narino province, where he says many young people have few opportunities to escape involvement in the country's ongoing internal conflict.

Read more: Kim Kardashian culls Dolce & Gabbana archives for Milan Fashion Week show

His background has commonalities with Marquez, a former housekeeper and environmental activist, who grew up in the poor municipality of Suarez, in Cauca province, and faced death threats for her opposition to gold mining.

"In one way or another her history and my history are similar, so I think there was a very lovely spark there," said Sinisterra, 23, who now lives in the city of Cali and studies social work in addition to his job as a designer.

Esteban Sinisterra's colourful patterned dresses for Francia Marquez have drawn international attention. Photo: ReutersEsteban Sinisterra's colourful patterned dresses for Francia Marquez have drawn international attention. Photo: Reuters

"First we accept and recognise that we have roots that connect us – which is Africa – but taking into account those roots we also express the territory where we're from, the Colombian Pacific," said Sinisterra, who learned his craft from his aunt and grandmother.

"Each and every one of Francia's outfits evokes that," Sinisterra said.

Read more: How Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, will now take up the royal fashion mantle

"It is being able to show that this is who we for me fashion, my fashion, is resistance."

The 40-year-old Marquez, who mentioned her ancestors in her oath of office, is slated to lead a new equality ministry if the government can win congressional approval for its creation. – Reuters

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

fashion , diversity , Colombia , Francia Marquez


Next In Style

Fashion's footie fever! Famous footballers are big stars of brands
Home to a new fashion library, Oslo could be the world's next style capital
Elizabeth Taylor's 'lucky charm' Oscar dress found, now up for auction
Need inspiration for your upcoming party outfits? Look to red carpet fashion
Fashion works by Italian photo master Gian Paolo Barbieri go on exhibit in Milan
Balenciaga controversy leads to lawsuit and Kim Kardashian 're-evaluating' ties
Achieve perfectly shaped eyebrows with the 'soap brow' beauty trick
Is it true that there are ways to make your tights last longer?
How grey lipstick got the green light from fashion stars
Alessandro Michele's abrupt departure may lead to turbulent times for Gucci

Others Also Read