Cultural Appropriation or Appreciation?

The other day I walked into a Laguna Beach boutique only to find “huaraches” just like the ones I was wearing – or so I thought.

I picked up the huaraches, which at first I thought were cute, until I saw the price. These huaraches were not only expensive ($70!!), but they were made in China with artificial materials. I looked around the store and was greeted by the store owner, an older Caucasian woman.

This reminds me of an Instagram page that I came across which featured vestidos like the ones on our website, completely advertised by Caucasian women and promoting them as “stylish” and “perfect for Mexican themed parties.” First of all, our heritage is not a party theme, and second of all, these dresses were over priced, and I think its safe to say that they were not made in Mexico either.

These aren’t rare occurrences. If you go on a lot of mainstream websites at this very moment and search for “huaraches,” you will probably find more over priced and likely low quality huaraches that were “Made in China” too. These companies are benefitting from Mexican fashion without really appreciating the culture and traditions and especially the artisans that create these beautiful articles of clothing and shoes.

These are just things I’ve personally come across so I can only imagine how many people have been ripped off and been sold low quality items that are imitations of authentic Mexican huaraches and clothing. Artisans in Mexico design and hand-craft these items, and sell them for little money, barely enough to make a living. It is unfair for other companies to steal these designs and mass-produce them in overseas countries where labor laws are hardly existent, just to sell them at outrageous prices and make a profit.

Charro Azteca aims to prevent these types of things from happening by hiring our own people from Mexico to make all of our products while paying them living wages. Authenticity is always our priority.

What do you think? Appropriation or Appreciation?

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