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International Designers Reject “Nicaragua Designs” Event

Nicaragua Diseña

The fashion platform was left with no internationally recognized designers; however, Xiomara Blandino will make her debut as an “emerging designer”.



The Dominican designer Cenia Paredes, owner of the Cenia New York label, declined to participate in the fashion event known as “Nicaragua Designs”, organized by Camila Ortega, daughter of President Daniel Ortega. Paredes’ stated reason was that she “doesn’t approve of the violence, or of any type or form of government repression anywhere.”

In an official declaration published in her social networks, the designer clarified that neither herself nor her brand “are affiliated in any way with the government, nor with any of the political parties in Nicaragua.”

Pressure on social media

According to the communique, she “hasn’t met, spoken with, or discussed any detail of her possible participation in Nicaragua Designs with anyone connected to the government.”

The designer, who has dressed celebrities such as Gloria Estefan, indicated that she received the invitation through the FDLA (Fashion Designers of Latin America), a platform based in New York that promotes Latin American designers in the United States. Paredes accepted “in good faith” the invitation to present her work to the Nicaraguan people.

She declared that “following a lot of thought” she decided to rescind her participation in Nicaragua Designs, but highlighted that she hopes to be able to visit the country in the future.

Users on the social media network indicated that the Dominican designer’s resignation was due to the pressures they’ve exerted, asking her to boycott the fashion event that receives support from the Ortega regime.

This year’s event will be held on the 16, 17 and 18th of November. Paredes’ runway display had been planned to close the fashion event, together with designers Melina Nemili and Yirki Sivrich, international guests from the FDLA.

Shantall Lacayo won’t participate either

In fact, several of the stellar designers and models who have participated every year in the fashion platform have preferred not to participate this year. Among them is the founder of the Nicaragua Designs showcase, Shantall Lacayo.

After the controversy that surrounded Lacayo regarding her business relationship with Camila Ortega and the cancellation of her show during Miami Fashion Week last May, the Nicaraguan designer told Univision that she was acting in repudiation of the Ortega government’s actions.

Before the cameras, she asked the president’s daughter to speak with her father and ask him to “stop the repression.”

“Have (Camila) tell her Dad what all Nicaragua, what #SOSNicaragua wants to tell him, and that’s to end the repression, to realize that his people are broken. That we need freedom, that we need democracy, and justice for all those mothers who have lost their children,” asserted the designer, who participated in the Latin American Project Runway in 2010.

The Nicaraguan designer recently presented “Instinct”, her new collection, in Miami. On her social networks she shared a publication in which she reiterates her disagreement with the violence of the Ortega government.

“I don’t live in Nicaragua anymore. Nevertheless, I continue producing and working hard so that Nicaraguan design and traditional labor continues to be active and to receive international projection. From a distance, I live the day by day events in my country, and I’m not in agreement with the injustices that the Nicaraguan people are suffering because of the government’s oppression,” Lacayo wrote.

Xiomara Blandino will make her debut as a designer

One of the novelties this year will be the presentation of the former Miss Nicaragua, Xiomara Blandino, who will make her debut as an “emerging designer” on the evening of November 16. Blandon, also a former television presenter, has romantic ties to one of Daniel Ortega’s sons.

This year, Nicaragua Designs will only include six national designers: Alex Rojas, Roberto Martinez, Mary Cuture, Crochetmania, Soraya Membreno and Luis Martinez.

“A circus event”

One of the designers with the most national and international recognitions who participated in the first versions of Nicaragua Designs declared that the fashion platform “shouldn’t be held” because “the country is in mourning with so many deaths due to the repression.”

“It’s a good decision on the part of many designers to refuse to participate in an event that today is a circus, because the country isn’t in a position to talk about fashion at this moment,” he expressed anonymously for fear of reprisals.