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Jessica Alba And Valentina Are Some Of The Opening Ceremony’s ‘Year Of Mexico’ Faces

In the heart of the SoHo district of Manhattan, there’s a very unique store that stands out among the rest. It’s a shop called Opening Ceremony that was founded in 2002 by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, two friends that met while students at UC Berkeley. The store can be compared to that one cool person in high school that had the best style, but you could never quite place where they actually shopped. Opening Ceremony is that place. The store combines a curated collection from Lim and Leon that takes clothes from the very best designers in the world, and emerging ones too, and sells it all under one roof. They’re also the creative directors of KENZO. All of this is to say, Opening Ceremony is the bomb, and here’s their latest inspiring campaign. 

In June, Opening Ceremony announced they’d pay tribute to Mexico and its people by featuring campaign entirely dedicated to the country, and they’re calling it, “The Year of Mexico.”

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

“Throughout our lives, and particularly through our Year of Mexico project, we have been privileged enough to witness the breadth of talent and soul that emanates from the Mexican community. In our current political climate, and at a most crucial time to celebrate diversity on both our home front and abroad, we decided to bring together friends new and old who pioneer conversation in the global cultural dialogue,” Leon stated on their website. 

A critical aspect of this campaign is that it shows how non-Latino creatives can be inspired by Latin culture without appropriating from it.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

Opening Ceremony is not taking designs from Latino designers. They are not featuring non-Latino models to wear Mexican brands. Everything about this campaign begins and starts with Mexican people, even down to the photographer. In this case, every image was shot by acclaimed photographer Stefan Ruiz. Opening Ceremony is also partnering with the nonprofit group Fondos Semillas — the largest fund in Mexico dedicated to supporting women’s causes and working closely with women-led grassroots groups with the goal of improving the living conditions of local communities and promoting gender equality.”

Now let’s take a look at some of their beautiful models.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

The campaign is perfectly titled “The Familia: A Portrait Series,” and it features “inspiring and influential figures in the Mexican creative community,” Opening Ceremony posted on Instagram. “The series, shot in Los Angeles and New York, captures a cast of established and emerging individuals – artists, actors, chefs, designers, musicians, photographers, entrepreneurs, multi-hyphenates – that exemplify the power of Mexican creativity today.” 

The campaign features a slew of influential Mexican and Mexican-American creatives, including chef Daniela Soto-Innes.

 Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

Soto-Innes gained worldwide recognition when she was named World’s Best Female Chef by the World’s 50 Best Restaurant.

Drag star Valentina.

 Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

Valentina may have made her name as a cast member on the reality TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” but her influence is an undeniable sensation that can be seen and heard everywhere. 

There’s also Jessica Alba.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

The longtime Latina actress who doesn’t typically talk about her Mexican roots seems to be coming around. She stated on Instagram that she’s an “entrepreneur (forever), entertainer (sometimes), loyal friend (always), serious cuddler, terrible speller, self-taught, truth-seeking, boundary-pushing, outlier-oriented, future-facing, detail-obsessed, tequila-loving, Mexican-American, So-Cal native and chingona for real.” Okay, girl!

L.A.-based artist Rafa Esparza.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

About his creative process, Esparza says, “I work with land when I make things, many times adobe bricks used to construct brown architectures that confront white spaces and their legacy of white supremacy,” he explained on Instagram. About his new artwork, he said he is diving into “(I’m)migration and the hundreds of concentration camps and detention centers profiting off of the inhumane, daily hauling of migrants throughout the country.”

The campaign also features Cassie, among many others.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

Cassie has had a pretty phenomenal year. Not only did she break up with P Diddy after more than a decade, but she’s now engaged to her new beau and expecting her first baby. 

“My current project is becoming a mother, and I can’t wait to experience the transformation that comes through motherhood, especially in creating new music and visuals. I’m an artist at heart,” she said on IG. “Like every woman, I’ve gone through many significant transitions in life that have taught me so much about myself and the woman that I want to become. I’m focused on becoming.”

We also love seeing the designs of Equihua for sale at Opening Ceremony.

Credit: openingceremony / Instagram

As you may recall, we interviewed fashion designer Brenda Equihua last year because we fell in love with her San Marcos-inspired jackets and coats. This year she’s also selling San Marcos-inspired hoop earings, scrunchies, shoes, and much more. 

We just love that Opening Ceremony is shining the line on talented Mexicanos who’s work should be exposed to the world. 

Click here to see more.

READ: This Fashion Designer Is Turning San Marcos Blankets Into Stunning Streetwear

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A Woman On TikTok Gave Her Followers Insight Into What It Feels Like To Be Paralyzed

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A Woman On TikTok Gave Her Followers Insight Into What It Feels Like To Be Paralyzed

Atsushi Tomura/Getty

In 2009, the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reported that almost 5.4 million people in the United States live with paralysis. Still, despite how common this is, few people understand the condition of paralysis and how it affects a person’s daily life. Twenty-two-year-old Jessica Tawil, of New Jersey, recently set out to explain the experience on TikTok last year.

Since her first post in November, the TikToker has garnered over 1 million followers with content that focuses on her experience of being paralyzed from the waist down.

In a post shared on her TikTok page, Tawil explained an exercise that might give people a chance to understand the sensation of being paraplegic.

@jesstawil

#foryoupage #fyp #foryou #whatilearned #stemlife #needtoknow #weekendvibes #bekind #spinalcordinjury #productivity #disability #medical #paralyzed

♬ Epic Emotional – AShamaluevMusic

In a post shared on her TikTok page, Tawil shared an exercise with her followers that demonstrates how it feels to not be able to move a ligament. In this case, it’s your finger. According to Buzzfeed, Tawil came across the exercise after looking through posts related to disabilities. “I remember feeling so blown away because my legs felt the exact same way as my finger did,” she said.

“Not many people know too much about paraplegics and their capabilities, so I wanted to be that light to inform, educate, and even entertain people,” Tawil explained to BuzzFeed. “I want people to know what it’s like to be paralyzed … so that they can be a little bit more appreciative of what they have and remain humble.”

Tawil’s video demonstration currently has over 12 million views.

Tawil explained that a kidnapping and car accident led to her paralysis when she was in her teens.

Tawil explained that the accident took place on Nov. 15, 2014, when she went to a friend’s house in high school. When she arrived, Tawil discovered that men were present and instantly felt uncomfortable when she further learned that they had brought drugs and alcohol.

“When I eventually asked them to take me home, they took me to an abandoned road instead. When we got to this road, the driver stopped the car and put his foot on the gas and brake at the same time, doing a burnout with his wheels. He lost control of the car and crashed into a tree,” Tawil explained. “It was at this moment that I got whiplash, split my head open to the point where my skull was exposed, and sustained a spinal cord injury — leaving me paralyzed the moment we crashed,” she said. “Paramedics said that I lost the equivalence of a ‘Coca-Cola bottle of blood’ out of my head, and didn’t think I’d make it if they drove me to the hospital. So they drove me to a nearby soccer field where a helicopter airlifted me to the ICU. From there on, I went through seven months of rehab and remained permanently paralyzed and wheelchair-bound.”

Speaking about her injury, Tawil says she was “robbed of my ability to use the bathroom normally (I depend on catheters and enemas).”

Sadly Tawil says her experience led to her reclusiveness and weariness to trust others. Still, she finds that her disability comes with positives. “On the positive side, I have become a lot more spiritual and grateful to have been given another chance at life,” she told BuzzFeed. “My accident has emphasized the fact that we are not promised tomorrow, and that we should always be grateful for the simplest things in life… I also want to show people how I live my life in the present day — what is life like as a wheelchair user? — and devote my channel to being a blog where people can get to know me on a lot more of a personal level.”

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has long called himself the voice of the people – and many Mexicans agree with him. That’s why his latest announcement against social media companies has many so worried.

In the wake of Twitter and Facebook’s (along with many other social media platforms) announcement that they would be restricting or banning Donald Trump from their platforms, the Mexican president expressed his contempt for the decisions. And his intention to create a Mexican social network that won’t be held to the standards from Silicon Valley.

Mexico’s AMLO moves to create a social media network for Mexicans outside of Silicon Valley’s control.

A week after his United States counterpart was kicked off Facebook and Twitter, President López Obrador floated the idea of creating a national social media network to avoid the possibility of Mexicans being censored.

Speaking at his daily news conference, AMLO instructed the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) and other government departments to look at the possibility of creating a state-owned social media site that would guarantee freedom of speech in Mexico.

“We care about freedom a lot, it’s an issue that’s going to be addressed by us,” he told reporters. He also added that Facebook and Twitter have become “global institutions of censorship,” sounding a lot like the alt-right terrorists that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“To guarantee freedom, for freedom, so there’s no censorship in Mexico. We want a country without censorship. Mexico must be a country of freedom. This is a commitment we have,” he told reporters.

AMLO deeply criticized the moves by Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump from their platforms.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

AMLO – like Trump – is an avid user of social media to connect with his constituents. He’s also been known to spread falsehoods and boast about his achievements on the platforms – sound familiar?

So, it came as little surprise when he tore into social media companies for ‘censoring’ Donald Trump, saying that they have turned into “global institutions of censorship” and are carrying out a “holy inquisition.”

Nobody has the right to silence citizens even if their views are unpopular, López Obrador said. Even if the words used by Trump provoked a violent attack against his own government.

“Since they took these decisions [to suspend Trump], the Statue of Liberty has been turning green with anger because it doesn’t want to become an empty symbol,” he quipped.

So what could a Mexican social media network be called?

The president’s proposal to create a national social media network triggered chatter about what such a site would or should be called. One Twitter user suggested Facemex or Twitmex, apparently taking his inspiration from the state oil company Pemex.

The newspaper Milenio came up with three alternative names and logos for uniquely Mexican sites, suggesting that a Mexican version of Facebook could be called Facebookóatl (inspired by the Aztec feathered-serpent god Quetzalcóatl), Twitter could become Twitterlopochtli (a riff on the name of Aztec war, sun and human deity Huitzilopochtli) and Instagram could become Instagratlán (tlán, which in the Náhuatl language means place near an abundance of something – deer, for example, in the case of Mazatlán – is a common suffix in Mexican place names.)

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