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Juana Diaz


Santiago designer, Juana Diaz is both a fashion designer and a textile artist, working with textile scraps to generate exclusive hand crafted products through fair labor with female home workers.  Developing a technique that cobbles varying scraps of fabric together, with her signature contrasting top stitching bridging the textural and color diversity between fabrics, she produces simple kimono style tops and wrap dresses, which belay the complex nature of the fabric piecing and stitch overlays.  Layering and asymmetric cuts add an additional layer of complexity to the volume and silhouette, while Diaz often uses the runway, as well as the clothes themselves to conceal or reveal social and activistic messages.  Her stitching and patching techniques evoke comparison to mosaics, or stained glass windows for textiles, with their rich visual texture and color combinations.


Working in opposition to the mainstream fashion industry, where waste is built into the system through production, labor abuse, and the seasonal presentation of a collection.  Diaz works against the seasonal production model to create a collection from the fashion industry’s production waste and textile scraps.  Production is achieved with women homemakers who require a flexible work schedule in order to tend to their children. Diaz also works and trains socially vulnerable persons from marginalized communities, such as prison inmates and recently released inmates who face labor reinsertion problems.  With her materials at no or low cost, as scrap from the mainstream industry, Diaz is able to pay her employees a fair wage while training them, helping her achieve a labor standard well above the industry norm.


Winning accolades and awards across Latin America for her collection, Diaz is a fashion activist, using her medium to portray her message, as well as her production to act as a catalyst to achieve change within the industry.  Sometimes described as a fashion terrorist, Diaz has also worked for the Chilean National Ballet, film, dance and theater, and taught workshops at various institutions.


Website: http://www.juanadiaz.cl/