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Meghan Markle Was Spotted Wearing A Pair Of Mexican Huaraches That Cost $225 While In South Africa

The Duchess of Sussex was spotted out in public on official business for the first time after giving birth to baby Archie. Meghan Markle was seen earlier this month, during the royal couple’s 10-day trip to South Africa, wearing a pair of tan-colored Mexican Huaraches. Naturally, we were excited to see the Mexican footwear staple on such a prominent figure. Here’s everything we know about the royal’s choice of shoes.

The sighting of the royal baby made headlines across the globe, but for us, it’s what was on Markle’s royal feet that caught our eye. 

credit Instagram @brothervellies

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s began their first overseas trip as a family on Mon., and according to the couple’s official Instagram account, their 10-day South African tour will focus primarily on “community, grassroots leadership, women’s and girls’ rights, mental health, HIV/AIDS and the environment.” Their busy calendar and lots of visits to various places around South Africa kept our news and social media feeds packed with Royal family content. Meghan Markle’s down-to-earth styling choice, however, grabbed our attention the most. 

Meghan is known for defying royal fashion protocols with her down-to-earth fashion choices.

Credit Instagram @royalsussex

She was seen sporting a pair of black jeans and a Madewell denim jacket —yep, this royal wears Madewell too. The #ootd was pretty on point for the occasion, a casual visit to Monwabisi Beach in South Africa, where the couple learned about the work that the organization ‘Waves for Change’ does supporting local surf mentors who provide mental health services to vulnerable young people living in under-resourced communities. The Duchess rounded out her beach day outfit with a white J. Crew button-down shirt and last, but definitely not least, a pair of tan-colored huaraches. 

The woven sandals worn by the royal are traditional Mexican pre-hispanic shoes.

Credit Instagram @tachmonkey

Huaraches are a popular style of handmade, pre-Columbian footwear, that is said to have originated from the Mexican states of Jalisco, Michoacán, and Yucatán in particular. Typically associated with Mexican farmworkers, huaraches were popularized in the US due to 60s hippie culture, and continue to be popular with both Mexicans and visitors to the country.

The Duchess of Sussex’s choice of footwear was not at random. Royals’ outfits are carefully thought out. 

credit Twitter @aideefrescas

Being part of the royal family comes with a lot of traditions and rules that affect the clothes they wear and how they wear them. Megan’s shoe choice was not at all coincidental. The tight fashion protocols given to the royals make it important to note that Markle’s huaraches were not just chosen at random.

The huaraches are made by Brother Vellies, a brand that makes “traditional African footwear”.

credit Instagram @brothervellies

With the goal of introducing the rest of the world to her “favorite traditional African footwear”, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs within Africa, Aurora James founded footwear and accessories label Brother Vellies. James’ label creates luxury items handmade in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Morocco. Their boots, shoes and sandals are all designed in styles that “maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts.”

The luxury ‘slow-fashion’ version of huaraches is way more expensive than the price you might get on the streets of Mexico.

credit www.brothervellies.com

Listed on the website, Brother Vellies states that the shoes are; “a little update to our favorite handwoven braided leather sandal. Made in México. The name ‘huarache’ comes from ‘kwarachi’ in the Purépecha language spoken in the highlands of Michoacán.” And as much as we love seeing Mexican and Latino elements represented in the highest spheres of fashion, consumers should know that the pre-Columbian shoes made in Mexico are not items of luxury, but traditional footwear made and sold by indigenous people all over the country.  The Brother Vellies pair will set you back a whopping $225. Now, we know it’s not a “high price” to pay for a pair of ‘slow’ eco-conscious fashion find. But we’re fairly certain that these shoes “made in Mexico” are made by the same artisans who sell their own footwear on the streets —at a much more reasonable $250 Mexican pesos

For luxury ‘slow fashion’ brands, supporting local artisans comes with a higher price tag. 

credit Instagram @brothervellies

The Slow Fashion movement has grown steadily since the late 2000’s and has never been as relevant and on-trend as it is now. A reaction to Fast Fashion, championed by high street giants such as H&M and the recently bankrupt Forever 21, the growth of Slow Fashion has been driven by a wide array of independent designers seeking to place the customer’s focus on durability and quality rather than the immediacy of micro-trends. 

A habit of slow fashion brands is to hype certain concepts and products as new and innovative, when in fact, they have been thriving for long before Slow Fashion as a concept became mainstream. In this case, huaraches, have been the footwear of choice for indigenous people in Mexico for centuries before it became a fashion staple to buy for $225 dollars. 

For Mexicans everywhere, huaraches are part of culture, so we can’t help but feel a little bit skeptical about the luxury version.

credit Instagram @mexicansole

It’s hard to track the manufacturing process and to find out whether the financial profit that the shoes are raising is being destined to support the artisans and their local communities. Or if they are at the very least, receiving fair compensation for the work they put into the artisanal shoes they’ve known for generations, and which are now being sold to NYC’s elite at a luxury price point. 

We celebrate Meghan Markle for bringing under-represented fashion pieces to the mainstream,  and possibly making ‘huaraches’ an “it shoe” for the season. But huaraches have been a part of Mexican culture since time immemorial and we can’t help but feel a little skeptical of where the hundreds of dollars that these shoes are raising are going. It seems to us, that if you want to recreate the royal’s look, you could save yourself some $$$ and take a trip south of the border to buy yourself a pair of handmaid shoes that will profit the artisan directly —and enjoy some bomb food and sights while you’re at it. 

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Vanessa Romo Marks The Cover Of Vogue México In A History-Making Feature

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Vanessa Romo Marks The Cover Of Vogue México In A History-Making Feature

vanesssaromo / Instagram

Vogue México knows a good trend when it comes to the fashion world. Their recent decision to feature model Vanessa Romo on the cover of their September issue proves that they also know a classic too. Speaking with Vogue México the model opened up about her career, challenges, and experiences that have allowed her to position herself as one of the modeling world’s most prominent figures.

The model with Mexican roots started out her career by modeling on small projects then moved up to uploading images to Instagram and eventually became discovered by Forever 21. Soon after, the North American fast-fashion brand offered Romo a collaboration and she was ultimately signed to an agent.

Now she’s Vogue México’s September model.

In her interview with Vogue, Romo says that the first time she saw plus-size models on a runway, her view of the fashion industry completely shifted.

Seeing women with bodies just like hers, made Romo feel represented in a way that was beautiful and confident. Speaking to Vogue México, Romo explains that she struggled her first two years as a model because she was still in college at University of California, Santa Bárbara. Because of her Latin roots, Romo studied Chicano Studies and Spanish. Her interest led her to continue to explore her identity and Romo decided to audition for Nuestra Belleza Latina on Univision in 2018.

Romo told Vogue that she decided to take part in the competition because she knew there was a need for this representation in the Latino community. When she finished the contest, she realized that she needed to continue breaking expectations for models.

“With this new inspiration, she decided to learn to love her body. Modeling and fashion were for her a way of exploring her own confidence and growing her,” Vogue México revealed. “The power of modeling captivated her so much that it was then that she realized that she herself wanted to be part of the change. Just as she needed empowerment, she knew that there were so many girls and women who needed it equally.”

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Cardi B’s Balenciaga Dreams Have Officially Come True! — She’s Their Latest Face

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Cardi B’s Balenciaga Dreams Have Officially Come True! — She’s Their Latest Face

Theo Wargo / Getty

Fans of Cardi B know that the big-time rapper has long loved Balenciagas (particularly the ones that look like socks)!

As it turns out the feelings between the high-end fashion brand and the “WAP” rapper are 100% mutual. This week, Balenciaga revealed the face of its new campaign and it’s your girl Cardi B.

This week, Balenciaga debuted Cardi B as the face of its winter 2020 campaign.

In the images of her new Balenciaga campaign, Cardi can be seen wearing a midnight blue evening gown while lying down on a sprawling colorful lawn.

The Balenciaga ad featuring Cardi is currently strung up outside the Louvre in Paris. According to Dazed, the photo (which shows Cardi rocking a black bob while lying amongst a bunch of children’s toys) was self-shot in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Cardi’s appearance makes for a big-time Afro-Latina first.

It’s commonplace for fashion houses to use famous faces to model their clothes but Balenciaga has kept away from the practice up until now. Cardi’s appearance makes her the first celebrity that the luxury fashion house has ever tapped to head a campaign. Cardi’s appearance also makes it a first for the rapper who has never modeled for a major fashion house.  

Cardi’s celebrated the news on her Instagram.

“Ya looking at the face of a Balenciaga campaign!” she wrote. “I remember how I felt seeing myself on a billboard in NYC Times Square but Paris! Wish I was there to see it in person!”

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