This young Black designer is dressing Afro Colombian vice president Francia Márquez in ‘resistance’ fashion


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By Reuters

Esteban Sinisterra works in his workshop in his apartment in Cali, Colombia (Charlie Cordero for The Washington Post / via Getty Images file)

Esteban Sinisterra, a young Black fashion designer from Colombia’s largely-poor Pacific region, is dressing Vice-President Francia Márquez — the first Afro-Colombian woman to hold the post — in what he calls “resistance” fashion.

Sinisterra, whose colorful patterned dresses for Márquez 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.

His background has commonalities with Márquez, a former housekeeper and environmental activist, who grew up in the poor municipality of Suárez, 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.

Read the designer’s comparisons between himself and the VP.

This is a wonderful step for a country that erased one of its Black presidents and in the world of fashion, where Black designers have tried to break the system.

Find more articles about Black resistance.

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