Yalitza Aparicio Made Her Debut At NYFW And She Shined Like The Star That She Is Next To The Fashion World’s Elite
Indigenous Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio marked her New York Fashion Week debut at a Michael Kors show this week. The 25-year-old was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress last year when she made another debut. It was Aparicio’s first time acting when she was cast in Alfonso Cuaron’s 2018 drama Roma. Aparicio has staked her claim as one of Hollywood’s most talented leading ladies.
She is the first Latinx actress to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar in 14 years, making her the second Mexican woman to do so, and the first Indigenous American woman to get a nom. Aparicio is Mixtec and Trique. Raised by a single mother who worked as a maid, Aparicio has no formal acting training. She has a degree in early childhood education and was pursuing another in pre-school education when she was cast in Roma.
Aparicio’s ascent comes at a time when Latinx and indigenous representation are sorely lacking and much needed in media.
Yalitza Aparicio attends Michael Kors Show at NYFW.
Yalitza Aparicio made her New York Fashion Week debut at Michael Kors’ Brooklyn Navy Yard show. Other celebrities in attendance included Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Sutton Foster, Lucy Hale, Emily Ratajkowski, Mafalda, Olympia of Greece, and Ella Hunt to name a few.
“I will see how it actually is because all I know is what you see online,” Aparicio told Women’s Wear Daily of seeing the clothes up close for the first time.
The 25-year-old Roma star is still adjusting to life after awards season. Her breakout performance quickly ushered her into the Hollywood stratosphere, and while Aparicio is in talks for some new roles, she is focused on adjusting and humanitarian work.
“I was trying to assimilate all that had happened,” she said. “[People] wanted to meet me and ask questions about the film and how it had been filmed all over the world; it was all sort of a big dream.”
Aparicio sits front row.
In fashion, it’s considered an honor to be sitting in the front row of a runway show. It’s why snaps of Vogue’s elusive editor Anna Wintour sitting poised with her signature sunglasses have become iconic. Aparicio was not denied a seat at the table, as she was sitting in between the notable leading ladies Sutton Foster, Kate Hudson, and Nicole Kidman.
Aparicio looked statuesque in a silver, metallic crushed silk lamé wrap dress from the 2019 Michael Kors Collection.
“I really didn’t think it would happen this soon, but fortunately, through this experience, I’ve been able to really take on the next step,” she told E.T. of her unexpected and exponential rise to success.
“I really learned a lot over this past year, but the most important thing is that at its core, my essence, I’m still the same person,” she continued. “It’s just a matter of adapting everything I’ve learned that really works for me.”
Native American appropriation still runs rampant in fashion.
Just last week French fashion brand Dior pulled an advertisement following accusations of cultural appropriation. The ad was for the fragrance “Sauvage,” whose spokesperson is Johnny Depp, and featured indigenous people of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota performing the Fancy War Dance. Indigenous people were offended.
Who are the real sauvages?
“Using Indigenous people and our culture for your new perfume aesthetic and feeling the need to name it “Sauvage” is a completely bad take. Do better @Dior,” an indigenous person wrote.
Sauvage is the French word for “savage” an offense term used to describe indigenous people by white colonizers, and one that is still used today to dehumanize indigenous people. This is well-known information, even the Disney animated film Pocahontas, which is a lazy retelling of history at best, features a song called “Savages” sung by the colonizers.
Indigenous people have long faced discrimination and erasure.
“To describe a Indigenous Person as Sauvage…. Is not cool.. Period. I am not a Savage..we are described in the Declaration of Independence as “Savages”…. So no honor no respect. Coming from a 100 percent indigenous two-spirit… Not cool Johnny,” said one Twitter user.
Others have pointed out that indigenous people are described as “savages” in the Declaration of Independence as a means to deny their rights. Many indigenous Canadians were especially upset. Canada has a large population of French-Canadians as well as a relatively larger indigenous population, thus the word sauvage, in its most derogatory form, is a constant presence in the lives of indigenous Canadians.
Aparicio’s presence in NYFW, and in Hollywood, is all the more important as indigenous and Latinx voices need to be heard and represented.