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Panel Discussion: The Future of Fashion in the Island

Ft. Modo Consciente

Barbie IRL Ep. 22
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Barbie IRL

In this episode, Barbie IRL joined some of the most important voices in the Fashion Industry in Puerto Rico to talk about important issues the Fashion and Manufacturing  Industries are facing now a day. The panel discussion was held on Zoom with a collective of female-led Puerto Rican designers who practice and encourage sustainable fashion and lifestyle products, called Modo Consciente. The members behind the collective are:

Maru Aldea, the owner and founder of Aida, a brand of curated vintage goods and clothing. She encourages consumers to give pieces a new life.

Matilsha Marxuach, designer, artist, entrepreneur, and activist. Matilsha is the founder and Chief Designer of Concalma.

Diana Lugo, designer of Esther. With sustainable and ecological practices, Diana creates clean, minimal clothing and goods for babies and children.

Karla López Rivera, designer of the hand-made shoe brand, Isleñas. She believes modernizing the sewing industry in Puerto Rico with slow fashion practices can be a tool that creates a positive impact in Puerto Rico.

Laura Lugo, founder of LUCALaura’s work centers around concepts of geometry, balance, and purity.

Mari Muñecas, founder of MARIMU, an ethically handcrafted resort wear collection made in Puerto Rico. Her mission is to support local talent and the island’s economy from within. 

Paola Muns & Bianca Muns, founder of what started as a jewelry brand and have slowly expanded into a sustainable RTW brand, MUNS. They believe in growing the brand by educating the public to value design and quality.


Sally Torres Vega, who since 2008 has been designing and producing her namesake label, Sally Torres Vega,  from her studio in Cidra, Puerto Rico.

Maria Vidal, founder and designer of Vigo Swim.

Yazmín Perez, aka Yayi, designer and founder of Yayi Perez. She is passionate about methods of construction and creative labor.

During the panel discussion, we answered the following questions:

  • What has happened to the manufacturing industry in Puerto Rico? What can be expected of it?

  • What has the experience of bringing / implementing your knowledge and experiences from other countries like NYC, Barcelona, Milan been like to create a fashion brand here in PR?

  • What difficulties did you face when you started your own brands?

  • What changes, if any, have you seen in the consumer since your brands' the early days until today?

  • What changes still need to be achieved within the fashion industry in Puerto Rico?

  • How does Modo Consciente educate the Puerto Rican society of the importance of the tailoring culture?

  • What do we think about the term "sustainability" and what does it mean to each of you?

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