Julieta Zavala to Showcase Colorful Designs Inspired by Her Mexican Heritage at Cherry Street Pier Festival
Julieta Zavala, a local Latino fashion designer, will showcase her upcycled clothes that showcase Latino growers, such as Frida Kahlo and La Virgen De Guadalupe, this Sunday at the Cherry Street Pier Festival.
She was born and raised in Mexico City and started out with a love for making backpacks from recycled materials. Zavala also had an aunt who made unique costumes that inspired her to go to fashion school.
“I always loved fashion when I was a kid,” Zavala said in a recent interview with News AL D NewsA. “I tried going to the University of Mexico, but it was out of my budget. It was way too expensive and I couldn’t afford it.
Zavala came to the United States at the age of 20 and lived in Newark, Delaware, not knowing English. To learn, she took English lessons in local churches.
She then attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia, where she graduated with a fashion design degree in 2014.
While attending the Art Institute, Zavala worked at David’s Bridal and received hands-on training from her manager and other employees. She learned to sew zippers and successfully mended wedding dresses and bridesmaids’ dresses.
The more she learned about fashion design, the more inspired she was to create clothes that showcased the deep roots of Latino culture. Her clothes also show a commitment to sustainability and the planet, and how crucial recycling is to prevent climate change.
“I’m very aware of climate change, of recycling, and I know fashion has a lot to do with the climate,” she said.
Regarding climate change, Zavala also wants to show the community that clean fashion is beautiful. She admitted that she didn’t want a big company and instead wants her clients to know that every inch of her handmade clothes is 100% her job.
On Sunday July 11, Zavala will be able to attract new customers to the Cherry Street Pier Festival.
“This will be my first time in Philly to be part of a market,” she said.
Zavala hopes to educate residents of Philly about authentic Mexican culture by adding different styles to her clothing. She uses a lot of popular Mexican traditions, such as Lucha Libre and her favorite, Día de los Muertos.
Día de los Muertos fashion offers many colorful and bright fabrics to showcase the Mexican heritage, such as skulls, flowers and beautiful headdresses.
Although Zavala does not make traditional Día de los Muertos clothing, she enjoys adding bright colors to her designs.
She recently completed a Frida Kahlo line, which flaunts many unconventional looks. She also used many fabrics and materials from Mexico.
These pieces will be presented at the festival along with handmade jumpsuits, cambaya headbands and other Mexican inspired pieces.
“I just want to show people our culture and traditions. Even though we are in America, we have to keep our roots because it is part of our identity, ”said Zavala. “This idea gives me inspiration.”
Check out more of Zavala’s work by visiting her Instagram page.