Latina seamstresses, Petra Mata and Viola Ceseres, who formerly worked for Levi Strauss, have taken their sewing skills to pursue an even bigger dream. They’ve decided to create their own jeans line, reported NBC Latino.
In 1990, the Levi Strauss jeans manufacturing business closed down in San Antonio, leaving many workers unemployed. Instead of getting discouraged, Mata and Ceseres sought a way out of their situation.
They created their own jeans line, called El Hilo de Justicia, which means Thread of Justice, is an attempt to breakdown social injustices. The line in itself is part of the larger organization Fuerza Unida — a larger group of Latinas all seeking to encourage female empowerment.
“When Levi’s closed, we were scared because we didn’t know what to do. All the practice we had was in making jeans,” Mata says. “We had a dream that one day we would come out with our own jeans. We had the material and the ideas and so we started making samples.”
After years of planning and production, the women debuted their line during a fashion show last September. The contributing members and models featured women who had been displaced when the Levis factory had shut down more than 20 years ago, along with their daughters and granddaughters.
“After the fashion show people were very interested to see what we were doing. Now we have a group of students doing the marketing and trying to help us research the places where we can sell it,” Mata said.
The women are now hoping to expand and sell their products online. More information can be found here.
(Photo Courtesy by Esmeralda Baltazar via NBC Latino)