Proto Hats for Auralis Studio
BY Abigail Doan | August 14, 2010
The deep roots of ethical fashion
It’s not every day that a young fashion designer hunts down local plants and tree roots as accessories for her first fashion week presentation, but Auralís Herrero-Lugo has done just that with the hand crafted ‘Proto hats’ that she has commissioned for New York Fashion Week’s The Green Shows. Brooklyn-based Auralís is an up-and-coming ethical fashion name-to-watch. With a design studio in her local neighborhood and in Puerto Rico, she is managing to bring fair trade jobs to talented artisans and fabricators in both locales. Auralís has opted to top off her next runway presentation by accessorizing her models with these woven ‘Proto hats’, a traditional basket weave art form that is “typically part of the cultural patrimony of Puerto Rico,” says the designer.
The highly regarded local craftsman Isaac Laboy Monteczuma, who is revered in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico and beyond, is an expert wood carver and hat maker. His custom-made creations are woven from splints from the fallen Cupey Tree, which is indigenous to his community. The artist gathers his materials off the ground himself and then artfully fashions them into woven masterpieces that are perfect for the local sunny climate.
As an extension of sharing the ethical fashion spirit, Auralís Herrero-Lugo will help to make these designs available to the public after her presentation at NYFW’s The Green Shows. This event is the premiere showcase for eco, ethical, and fair trade labels during fashion week in early September. The road to fame is far from over, though, as Auralís still needs to raise funds in order to present her collection. You can support her efforts by visiting her Kickstarter page here.