Images courtesy of Puta
Bibiana González and Iñaki Martínez take secondhand clothing and brand them with the Spanish word for whore, Puta. Their unisex designs flaunt a word that is pretty much the pillar of slut-shaming culture in Latin America. More recently, the word has been reclaimed to denote sexual freedom and empowerment. It’s a controversial word and the creators of Puta propose we wear it proudly.
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Martínez already had a small collection of secondhand denim jackets when he and González conceived of the brand. The duo’s existential musings on what it would mean to literally wear the word Puta out on the street inspired their initial creations: denim jackets with Puta sewn on in bright red. With no experience in fashion—both Martínez and González are film students—the two began showcasing their creations on Instagram. Their content features a diverse cast of characters from the streets of Mexico City, mostly strangers they’ve approached on the street.
At first, the positive feedback and encouragement they received came mainly from friends and acquaintances outside of Mexico. As their following grows, Martínez and González acknowledge the importance of men and women in Mexico embracing the message behind their brand.
“We’ve heard people say they don’t think Mexico is ready for Puta. People tell us they love our jackets, but they could never wear one,” said González. In a country where gender violence abounds and slut-shaming is commonplace, their brand acknowledges and confronts the issue, instead of shying away from it or waiting for it to go away. People’s hesitance to wear their designs proudly and defiantly in Mexico has only encouraged them.
Their experience since starting Puta is a testament to the subversive nature of the brand. González explains that wearing a Puta jacket has allowed her to answer people’s questions and engage in dialogue with strangers on the street. She’s taken these opportunities to declare Puta’s mission to end slut-shaming by decontextualizing the word, one jacket at a time.
The video and images are courtesy of Puta. To get your own Puta apparel, visit puta.bigcartel.com.
*Puta is committed to the growth and healing of its community; the healing of physical wounds as well as psychological ones. On September 19th of this year, Mexico City was struck by the most destructive earthquake the city has seen in thirty-two years. The founders of Puta encourage donations to Brigada de Rescate Topos, a local volunteer rescue team. To learn more and donate, visit topos.mx.