Colombian couture controversy

by quinnchic

Since my attendance at Rutgers University I have been exposed to a very diverse environment. I have been introduced to different aspects of the fashion by engaging in the fashion communities of new cultures I have learned about here at Rutgers. A Colombian friend told me about fashion in her country and how recently there was a huge problem concerning a very famous fashion writer.

Pilar Castaño, a Colombian fashion designer, recently published the book “The Wonders of Being a Woman” that contained plagiarized sketches. Pilar Castaño is a highly respected Colombian fashion enthusiast that has published countless books all about the world of fashion. In 2013 Castaño decided to publish “The Wonders of Being a Woman” hiring an 18 year old girl who looked like a professional sketch artist. She thought could trust her, she thought she wouldn’t betray her.

photo by el tiempo

photo by el tiempo

Unfortunately this girl, Gabriela Salazar ended up taking the designs from different illustrators around the United States. Castaño’s book made it to Latin American Vogue where it was seen by one of the artists who’s work was plagiarized. This then caused a lot of controversy in the cyber world and called the attention of sketch artists all over the United States. It turned out that the designer Castaño did not verify the credentials behind every design of the young illustrator making her guilty of the chargers of plagiarism. This event caused a lot of problems for both the author and the illustrator. The credibility of the author is no longer the same, making her work of more than 30 years being questioned. This case stood out to me a lot, even though my specialty isn’t sketching it is the big picture that makes this so important.

The fashion industry is very difficult to succeed in , very few people actually make it in this fashion world.

With all the competition going on it is important to respect the work of others, avoiding all form of plagiarism. Vogue had to take back all of the books printed, billing the young illustrator 80,000 dollars. This does not include the amount that the sketch artists are asking for. This incident has affected the illustrator making her at risk in regard for her tuition at Parsons University in New York City. Gabriela received partial scholarship and sends her sketches as part of her portfolio. It was said that she is now being a question and debated for expulsion. Hopefully Gabriela has learned from her mistake and will give positive things to the fashion world instead of plagiarizing and giving innocent writers bad names. One day personally I hope to look back at my life and see that I have contributed positive things to the fashion industry creating a name for myself. Thankfully this incident has been brought to light and hopefully it has scared people and prevented them from committing this horrendous crime.

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