World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
Mexican designer finds a muse in UN Women
Date: 21 May 2013
“The main elements consist of a geometric design or mandala that symbolizes the force governing the universe and where representations of women from different world cultures can be found,” says Mexican designer Cristina Pineda, as she explains the concepts that her brand, Pineda Covalín (which reflects her last name and that of her business partner Ricardo Covalín) integrated in designing a collection inspired by UN Women.
The Pineda Covalín brand has left its mark on the international market by using designs of various indigenous peoples as well as distinct shapes and figures from popular artisan crafts, which, over time, have become aesthetic icons of Mexico’s multiculturalism and ethnic diversity. As a result of the strong presence of indigenous and aboriginal peoples, Latin American and Caribbean region is known as one of the most ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse regions in the world.
Cristina’s work reflects this diversity and through her creations, Pineda Covalín has continuously elevated the richness of Mexican folk traditions and cultural roots through her famous designs for scarves, ties, bags and other personal use items.
In 2012, Cristina attended a global youth leaders’ meeting in Panama hosted by UN Women, UNFPA, and UNDP. Learning about the work of the entity, soon she joined forces with UN Women and created a special collection of products that was officially presented in March 2013 in New York to UN Women, during the fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The collection was designed to show the diversity of women and their potential as agents of change.
The designs resonate with symbols of the earth. In addition to the flower petals, the designs include motifs of butterflies which symbolize their entrepreneurial flight patterns and message of freedom and metamorphosis. The bright colours the designer says symbolize the joy, beauty and strength which women and girls all over the world can achieve.
Cristina’s designs underline her conviction that “sustainable development can only be achieved when women, men, young people and children enjoy complete equality and when all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls are eliminated.”
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2013 calls for concrete steps to support diversity by raising global awareness of the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion, by building communities committed to diversity, and by combating bias and stereotypes.
Cristina echoes this message: “Because we have a voice we can rise to promote a change of consciousness and a future of peace and development. We are all part of this transformation.”
In addition to promoting a culture of non-violence and of non-discrimination against women and girls, the Pineda Covalín brand will donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of these designs to support UN Women’s programmes in Mexico.