LatinX Americans bring with them a rich and colorful history that is tightly interwoven into Americas past, its growth and its future. Incorporating cultural points of view into a multitude of industries, LatinX men and women of different countries have let cultural influence guide them in their work. This in turn has led to achievements and contributions that have pushed our nation forward in tremendous ways.
In the creative fields, from film and television to today’s runways, Latin Americans have made tremendous strides in making their voices heard. Denise Focil, born in Ecuador and founder/designer of AS by DF, has tapped into the world of sustainability with her chic, cool and edgy style and is making a name for herself. And Hollywood is taking notice! Celebrities such as Jenna Ortega, Becky G, Megan Good, Lake Bell and Shania Twain have been spotted out and about wearing her brand!
“Being a Latina Designer gives me a point of view that I think really differentiates me from other creatives. I come from Ecuador, a country of resilient, strong and proud women. Women who stand up for what they love and wear their hearts on their sleeves. I literally create pieces that showcase a bold, strong woman who is the leader in the crowd,” said Denise Focil, Founder + Designer AS by DF.
Being a “leader in the crowd” herself and socially aware, Denise wanted to bring more attention to and be a representative of LatinX women at the intersection of fashion AND eco consciousness. A goal for her from the outset was to shed more light on the wonderful Latino creatives out there and inspire young Latinos in this country showing them that this field of making beautiful things is something they could be a part of Kids look up to people they can relate to and on a whole there are only a small number LatinX groups and non-profit organizations that focus on “all things green.”
When launching her brand Denise wanted to incorporate sustainability in its process. Lessening her brands carbon footprint is the platform where she started. Out of the gate, she began utilizing discarded leather scraps (which would have otherwise been landfill waste) and rework them into a beautiful, supple leather using modern technology and a tanning process which uses 90% less water than traditional methods. She also devised hang tags that are biodegradable and strewn with poppy seeds the buyer can plant at home. Even her packaging contains no plastic waste materials and she also donates $10 from each recycled leather sale to non-profit organization Ocean Conservancy, which protects our oceans.
Rounding out her brand image she chooses to work notable models of varying ethnicities who share her same values of sustainability to shoot her campaigns; models such as Jasmine Sanders, Arlenis Sosa and Josephine Skriver.
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