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Entrepreneurship & Cultural Heritage

Feb 3, 2022
Fashion Is Elevating Cultures Globally & Endeavoring

The fashion industry is a global industry, present across all cultures. Different cultures have different values and beliefs. These values and beliefs translate into multiple different aspects of the culture. One of these aspects is the fashion industry. As fashion goes global, large brands follow trends and gain inspiration. However, few brands actually recognize and understand the story behind their inspiration. How can cultures gain global appreciation and elevation? Including the acknowledgment of the rich history behind it?

Elevating Cultures in Fashion

It is clear that culture influences fashion. Different cultures have different preferences regarding clothing. For example, in warmer regions, fashion includes lighter fabrics and shorter clothing. In warmer regions, people tend to wear thicker fabrics. Nevertheless, geographic aspects are not the only thing influencing fashion. Many traditional cultures feature indigenous materials and styles. In certain African regions, many women wear headwraps. Depending on their country of origin, they have different names. They represent numerous things, such as marital status, wealth, and mourning. In India, many women wear Saree, which is a traditional dress. Indian people wrap themselves with these cotton fabrics to be flexible in the hot climate. The clothes and fabrics tell a story and stem from a deep cultural heritage. All cultures have some sort of tradition in their garments. As do Peru and the Middle East.

Peruvian Culture in Fashion

Peruvian clothing features bright colors, vibrant patterns and many layers. To this day, the ancient culture in Peru largely influences their craftsmanship. Peru features many different cultures and traditions, which are visible in its fashion. Handcrafted items have a history of being sustainable. They are produced with recycled materials and influenced by the many different regions of the country. The Inca produced their clothing in a certain way to survive. Each article of clothing tells a story. The items continue to carry the traditional fabrics and colors within them. However, it is important to appreciate the origin of this clothing when wearing and distributing it. The work behind a piece needs to receive appreciation, which is unfortunately not guaranteed when taking fashion to a global level.

Middle Eastern Culture in Fashion

The fashion of the Middle East is a growing segment that caters to many. The beautiful designs and jewelry receive global recognition. Many Muslim women wear headscarves. There are different types of veils, which are commonly referred to as Hijab. However, it is important to understand that Hijab does not only refer to the veil wrapped around the head. It is a term used to describe modest attires that include head covering. It is also a fashion statement, although many people stigmatize the headscarf with modesty. Middle Eastern women are very proud of their distinct fashion culture. The beautiful patterns and accessories are generally local. Many women struggle to find clothing that speaks to their culture when moving abroad. Many young women want to wear clothing that represents their roots. Furthermore, there is an increase in global awareness and adaptation. But what is the line between cultural appreciation and appropriation?

Cultural appropriation and appreciation

There is a thin line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. The idea of cultural appropriation goes back to colonialism. White colonialists stole cultural artifacts. Even nowadays, cultural appropriation is still a deep-rooted issue. Designer brands sell fashion items representing a certain culture for high prices. For example, Gucci sold a $790 turban in 2019, appropriating the Sikh culture. The underwear brand Victoria’s Secret regularly implements designs similar to tribal tropes into their fashion shows. So where exactly is the line between appropriation and appreciation? Appropriation mocks ridicules or copies a culture. Appreciating a culture means understanding it. People need to know about the backgrounds, the meaning, and the values. It is about gaining inspiration from cultures and giving credit, rather than copying cultures. To appreciate a culture, it is important to always ask the following question. How did it get here?

Elevating cultures on a global level

There are many different initiatives that help to elevate cultures on a global level. This includes educating customers and appreciating the artisanship and where items came from. Two entrepreneurs who are leading the way are Juana Burga and Norah E. Almuhaidib.

Nuna Awaq

Juana is the founder of Nuna Awaq. Nuna Awaq translates to “Soul of the Artisian”. Nuna Awaq is an initiative stemming from the passion and admiration towards the Peruvian culture and their work in textiles. Artisan’s work gets revalued in a sustainable and socially responsible manner. The artists now have opportunities to develop. Their work gets promoted, and they receive further training. The aim is to create a fair work environment.

Shop at Culture

Shop at Culture is a platform founded by Norah E. Almuhaidib. Her platform’s mission is to introduce Saudi Fashion to regional and global markets. She wants to bring Saudi Fashion to the mainstream markets. This way, the culture is appreciated and elevated globally. Saudi fashion and designers are featured on the website, where customers can then shop for their pieces. These two initiatives are the way to go if you want to properly appreciate different cultures’ fashion.

Meet our guest speakers

Juana Burga is an actress, entrepreneur, and the founder of Nuna Awaq. She has appeared in magazines such as Vogue, L’Officiel, Grazia and more. Cosas has recognized her as the most successful Peruvian model of all time. Ellos Y Ellas recognized her as one of the most powerful Peruvian women. She uses her platform to protect local artisans who produce and export sustainable fibers worldwide.

Norah E. Almuhaidib is the founder and CEO of shopatculture with a background in supply chain & operations management. Although she has a deep-rooted love for fashion, her real passion is in product development and sustainability. She also promotes this on her platform shopatculture, which she launched in March 2020. She wants to create a global revolutionary marketplace and share her appreciation for her culture.

Tijana Ibrahimovic is the founder and journalist at Pop Style TV. She is known for her vibrant, clever, and on-air delivery, which establishes her credibility. In 2015, she founded Pop Style TV, a media platform that covers fashion and entertainment. She is the host and executive producer of their video content. She has further experience in hosting and commenting on-air segments, locally and internationally.

The Speakers

Meet your Fashinnovators

Thumb Norah E. AlMuhaidib
Norah E. AlMuhaidib
Founder & CEO, Shopatculture

Nora’s background is in supply chain & operations management. She did her undergrad in Montreal CA at John Molson School of Business which is the business school for Concordia University.

She has 7 years of experience in retail from lean operations to sales & marketing in FMCGs
She has built a culture in 2019 and launched March 2020 right at the start of the pandemic in KSA.

She is the sole founder and CEO of the company and this is her first start-up.
Eventhough she loves fashion, her real passion is in product development and sustainability.

She dreams and looks forward to making culture a global revolutionary marketplace, a sustainable platform for SMEs all around the world to join our fight against global fashion and share the love of authentic, culture, and slow.

Thub Juana Burga
Actress, Entrepreneur & Founder, Nuna Awaq

Peruvian model, actress, and activist JUANA BURGA was discovered in 2010, and has since appeared in many notable magazines including in international editions of Vogue as well as graced the covers of L’Officiel, Grazia, Caras, and more. Her meteoric rise in the industry earned her recognition as the most successful Peruvian model of all time by COSAS Peru and as one of the most powerful Peruvian women by Ellos Y Ellas Magazine. She is an ambassador in Peru working to protect local artisans who produce and export sustainable fibers worldwide.

speaker (47)
Tijana Ibrahimovic
Founder & Journalist, POP Style TV

Tijana is an entertainment journalist and television personality. She is known for her vibrant, clever, and stylish on-air delivery, which quickly establishes credibility among viewers, and pulls them in to listen to her take on the latest celebrity, fashion, and lifestyle news. Her European background and accent are also what contributes to her distinct on-air presence. It is what makes her unique and fun to watch.Tijana has covered many red carpet events, film premieres, fashion shows and has also worked as a news anchor. You can see her reporting during major crises yet she can be seen on the red carpet interviewing Hollywood celebrities at an award show. Some of her most noted interviews are with Oscar de la Renta, Joan Rivers, HRH Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, Steven Spielberg and many more.

In 2015, Tijana founded POP Style TV, a media platform that covers fashion and entertainment. She is the host and executive producer of the site’s video content. In addition Tijana is often invited to comment and host on air segments and events locally and internationally.







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