For fashion designers and moguls around the world, culture is a factor that influences the design of a fabric.
This is especially true for instructor Dr. Carol Engel-Enright, who has an extensive background in design entrepreneurship and social enterprise. In fact, her research has led her to explore global culture in fabrics.
During a talk at the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, Engel-Enright said her creations stem from inspiration and a fabric. As a child, she was intrigued by global culture. Engel-Enright’s mom was a travel agent and she was able to accompany her mom on trips around the world.
During her research, Engel-EnrightEnright was able to travel to Guatemala. This trip was motivated by a need to better learn to feature global textiles while also being ethical and respectful of different global cultures.
“I wanted to know how to feature beautiful artisan crafts, pay the people a fair price, and move it into contemporary fashion,” she said. In essence, Engel-Enright wanted to blend fashion and culture.
I wanted to know how to feature beautiful artisan crafts, pay the people a fair price, and move it into contemporary fashion.Dr. Carol Engel-Enright
Through this trip and experience, Engel-Enright produced a coat that is displayed in the museum. Her coat features co-designed Mayan textiles. This means she worked with a fair-trade group in Guatemala in order to produce the woven patches on the coat. The coat is an example of a piece that is a staple piece in anyone’s closet, while also respecting Guatemalan weavers and Guatemalan culture.
Engel-Enright did not take shortcuts. She did not copy someone’s designs. She is an example to other designers and creators around the world of how to beautifully express creativity, while still respecting the culture that influences said creativity.