We are highly fascinated by the story of Pietà, a fashion label born in a prison of Lima, Peru. At the start of the project only one prison of Lima was involved, but at this point it successfully developed to two other prisons, two male-only and one female-only prison. Each Pietà collection is entirely produced in these prisons without any external help. Even the lookbooks are shot with models who have nowhere to go but inside the prison walls. Next to producing appealing collections, Pietà also allows inmates, often left to their own devices, to independently generate an income and develop their skills allowing for a faster rehabilitation. Every single Pietà piece is created in the fashioning, knitting, and leather workshops of the different prisons where the prisoners produce the garments, which are signed by the craftsman, making one wonder about what story lays behind every single piece.
The idea was to produce something different expressing our feelings, and create a way to escape from the jail and travel all around the world. Moreover it allows us to independently generate an income and develop our skills. Each day of work decreases our sentence by a full day.
The project was named Pietà after the chef d’oeuvre of Michelangelo. The work depicting a difficult scene of accepting the Divine will, without any lamentation or pain. Central themes are sobriety and dignity, which makes the work a striking metaphor for the more demanding elements of prison life. Resource-wise Peru is the perfect country for the project; only natural, ecological and recycled materials, next to traditional Peruvian high quality fibers such as alpaca, cashmere, pima cotton or silk are used to produce the collections. The garments are composed of simple and minimalist cuts, from hard life inspiration for everyday life, with clear observable inspiration from modern European minimalist streetwear brands and classic American sportswear.
In spite of our difficulties and prejudice, we don’t give up. We demonstrate good work, humility and simplicity while being full of hope for the future. Finally the Pietà is the last step before the Resurrection, and a new rebirth.
The next Pietà collection is being finished at this moment and will drop coming September.
For more information and the webstore see here.