This Latina Won a $10k Scholarship For Making a Duct Tape Folklorico-Style Prom Dress
Photo via Larissa Leon/Twitter
Larissa Leon is displaying firsthand what ingenuity looks like. The 17-year-old from Sunnyside, Washington spent 163 hours making a stunning and elaborate Folklorico prom dress. The catch? She made the Folklorico dress entirely out of duct tape. And she did it all to help realize her dream of becoming a dermatologist.
Latina teen Larissa Leon is the grand prize winner of Duct Tape’s $10,000 “Stuck at Prom” scholarship contest.
The “Stuck at Prom” scholarship contest gives teens across the country the opportunity to win a $10,000 scholarship. In order to take away the grand prize, they have to create a dress or a tuxedo entirely out of duct tape. After that, Duck Tape chooses the most impressive dress and tuxedo as winners.
For Leon, this dream has been a long time coming. According to an interview she had with local radio station 107.3 KFFM, Leon had been planning on entering this contest for a while. Ever since she was a young girl, Leon would craft creations out of duct tape, including wallets, bags, hair accessories, and even a mermaid tail. “I’ve known [I would enter] since I was pretty young, probably when I started getting really obsessed with Duct Tape,” she revealed. “And I was like, I’mma do that when I’m in high school.”
In her entry statement to Duck Tape, Leon explained that her Mexican heritage inspired her to create a folklorico dress out of duct tape.
“I was inspired by the Folklorico-styled dresses that stem from both indigenous and Spanish practices,” she wrote. “The dresses are decorated with ribbon, flowers, and include a full flowy skirt. So I created a ruffled off-the-shoulder colorful Folklorico flower gown.”
The 20 pound-Folklorico gown is detailed with flowers, lace and ribbon–all made out of Duct Tape. “The gown was designed to honor my culture,” she continued. She also explained that the gown helped her “pay homage to my roots…something that many of my friends and family thought to be impossible.” Even Leon’s purse and hair accessories were made out of Duct Tape.
Although Larissa Leon won out of sheer, unadulterated talent, she also didn’t leave anything up to chance. She spent much of the contest period campaigning on social media for people to vote for her.
On TikTok, she posted a video explaining that she wanted to win the contest to pursue her dream of becoming a dermatologist. She also regularly shared links to the contest page so her followers could vote for her.
Her efforts paid off. As Leon shared videos and pictures of her Duct Tape Folkorico dress, her posts began to wrack up views. Millions of views. Before the finalists were announced, she posted a TikTok video expressing her nervousness over the results. That video got 4 million likes.
Throughout the contest period, Leon had been sharing behind-the-scenes peeks at her dress-making process.
On June 2nd, Leon shared a time-lapse video of her making the prom dress. In the video, she shows the hard labor and hours she spent creating her masterpiece. In total, it took a whopping 47 Duct Tape rolls to assemble the dress.
On TikTok, she shared a video of herself attempting to perform a baile folklórico. She had a difficult time, however, because the dress was so heavy. “Okay, so I tried dancing in my 20-pound Duck Tape dress [crying emoji]” she wrote on the video. “As you can see I was struggling”.
We hope that Larissa Leon continues to share her innovative, cultural creations with the world.
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