Last week, vogue showcased New York furniture designer Elise McMahon and textile artist Francesca Capone’s sustainable t-shirt project featuring handmade looms. However, after the article was published, Filipino-American Jan Vincent Gonzales took to Instagram to call out the post for not making it clear that the design resembles the “basahan”, which translates to “rag” in English.
“Basahan has been around for generations in the Philippines. Why don’t you shed some more light on this? » Addresses of Gonzales Fashion show. “Our people have been inherently sustainable. We just weren’t labeled as such. But when a white person does the same, you applaud them and continue that white savior narrative while demonizing other countries who ultimately have to answer for our country’s mess,” he adds.
The MERCADO founder VICENTE also includes screenshots of “basahan” in the Philippines which are traditionally used as wiping rags or doormats. In another post, Gonzales said, “Why am I still on this and so pissed off? Because I worked with these two creatives to try and get some media coverage for their work from @voguerunway and n haven’t heard a thing – yet here we see this little white woman-owned studio getting all that fame and acclaim for something our people have had for generations.
Since being made aware of the technique used in Latin, African and other Southeast Asian countries for many years, McMahon addressed the issue on her Instagram, saying, “I am focused on my education and wondering how I did ‘I don’t know about it and what can I do now that I know. In a recent interview, Gonzales commented, “I don’t just put the blame on McMahon and Capone here. Because if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that the whole system needs to be changed.
vogue has not released an official statement regarding the matter. However, he seems to have included the mention of the Philippines in his article: “There is a long global precedent for creative approaches to recycling discarded garments through weaving: in the Philippines, for example, discarded textiles are woven into doormats known as the name ‘basahan’ found in most homes.