10 May Die Kolumbien-Österreich-Connection
EL CUBO de CHIRIMOYA ist ein Kooperations-, Konzept- und Designstudio in Ibagué Kolumbien. Gründer und Designer John Bocanegra will damit Kooperationen zwischen europäischen und österreichischen Modedesignern und Handwerkern und Kreativen in Ibagué anregen und fördern.
Beim Take Parcours zeigt CHIRIMOYA einen Dokumentarfilm, der die Zusammenarbeit der Designer mit den lokalen Handwerkern portraitiert und ihren Umgang mit dem jahrhundertealten textilen und kunsthandwerklichen Erbe Kolumbiens zeigt.
What can European and Austrian designers learn from Colombian designers and artisans?
In Colombia we all know that diversity is a good starting point when it comes to design. By doing this we are always learning from each other and creating new ideas in the process, in the same room together. I feel like this gives us a real-life connection with the designers/artists that we collaborate and work with – rather than just an exchange of ideas online, which is all too commonplace these days.
At the heart of it, I think it is really just about looking at old, indigenous techniques and preserving them through modern day fashion. By doing this, you preserve past techniques and execute with a modern-day finish. There is so much to learn about the past when it comes to making beautiful, sustainable fashion right now in 2019.
Are Colombians more fashionable than Austrians?
We don’t know if they are more fashionable, necessarily. But there is definitely a more visible flair and energy in the way people dress out here in Colombia. We always aim to combine these features with the attention-to-detail that is always present in Austrian fashion. We see it as combining the best attributes of two beautiful countries.
Colombians have a different concept altogether when they consider what fashion actually is. Austrians have a more solidified concept of fashion, but with different taste and their own unique take. The combination of these two cultures, we hope, brings something entirely new. We’re hoping to bring a new experience and feeling for Take Festival, hopefully people enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed working on it.
In which ways do artists, designers, artisans… work together in El Cubo?
It is just a big melting pot, really. We have architects, graphic artists, fashion designers, craftsmen and so on – all together, under one roof and working side by side. We have attracted so many different creatives from so many different walks of life, and it’s so exciting to be able to share this with everyone.
We often work together in a combination of ways. Either it can be just working alongside one another. Other times, projects can be collaborative and we all sort of bounce off each other creatively. We were fortunate enough to have photographer Klaus Enrique here at El Cubo recently, this was a collaborative project .
El Cubo is a great place for everybody who is interested in the arts, starting conversations between creative and a new immersive experience to a region of Colombia where, for the last 25 years, interest in the creative-arts has been stagnant and lacking in new ideas. At the same time, its also an opportunity for designers from abroad to come to Ibagué and experience an exchange of “know how” between artisans, indigenous craftsmen and designers.
What surprises you most when looking at the results?
I think it’s the contrast and progression. Seeing how much an idea has changed since it was started, and sometimes seeing how much we have moved beyond the initial concept. For me, it’s really important to get things perfect along with constantly experimenting with new artisanal techniques. As a result, we always change so much during the design process. It may take a very long time sometimes, but we always strive for perfection!
The reaction of the people here in Ibagué. To them, its like having a small part of Austrian culture present in this Colombian city that they call home. It’s very exciting, especially given how little of Austrian culture is represented here. It reminded me a lot of my time in Austria and the constant new emergence of various scenes emerging in the creative arts.
El Cubo, for us, is like an Austrian embassy in Ibagué. It is a dream come true. The people are impressed by the results as much as we are, and it is a great source of satisfaction to watch.
Where can we buy the products?
We have an e-store coming very soon for all of you ! A range of Chirimoya garments will be available from www.chirimoya-fashion.com.
What do you dream of?
We want to present these ancient artisan techniques to a modern audience. “Giving the past a future“. And that means getting these old world skills of making unique garments to people in countries all over the world. And not just to fashion lovers, to ordinary people too. Really to anyone who values quality, beauty and sustainability. We dream of being in a position to present our values and our techniques, through our garments, to these people.
We also love embodying new ideas and themes into each new collection we do. This definitely drives us forward with our dreams for the brand. Seeing this go from the drawing board to the runway is so exciting for us. For example, the themes present in our new collection INVASIÓN (being previewed in full for this year’s Vienna Fashion Week) we got the chance to really draw on historical themes and culture that were hugely important to this. Getting the chance to implement this into the fashion we do is a privilege enough, but presenting it on the runway with unique pieces at fashion-week shows is such a passion of ours.
Furthermore, we also want to show people the importance of having a social conscience in a world of fast-fashion. Now more than ever, it’s so hard to know where your clothes are from and how they got from their simple start as raw material to stores around the globe. We aim to use some of the profit made from every t-shirt sold to give back to the community. Here in Colombia, children in many deprived areas struggle to gain the education and opportunities they need in life to succeed. We are reinvesting back in the local community through our “CORAZON” program – increasing social mobility for kids that have had an unfair start in life. This is the dream that powers what we do at Chirimoya and of course , El Cubo.