Brazilian Indigenous Women Use Fashion to Showcase their Claim to Rights

An Indigenous woman presents a creation from Indigenous designers during a fashion event at the third March of Indigenous Women, in defense of women's rights, local Indigenous people and the environment in Brasilia, Brazil September 12, 2023. REUTERS/Adriano Machado
An Indigenous woman presents a creation from Indigenous designers during a fashion event at the third March of Indigenous Women, in defense of women's rights, local Indigenous people and the environment in Brasilia, Brazil September 12, 2023. REUTERS/Adriano Machado
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Brazilian Indigenous Women Use Fashion to Showcase their Claim to Rights

An Indigenous woman presents a creation from Indigenous designers during a fashion event at the third March of Indigenous Women, in defense of women's rights, local Indigenous people and the environment in Brasilia, Brazil September 12, 2023. REUTERS/Adriano Machado
An Indigenous woman presents a creation from Indigenous designers during a fashion event at the third March of Indigenous Women, in defense of women's rights, local Indigenous people and the environment in Brasilia, Brazil September 12, 2023. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Indigenous women in Brazil’s capital Brasilia showcased their creations during a fashion event as part of the Third March of Indigenous Women to claim women’s rights and the demarcation of Indigenous lands.

Under a huge white marquee, models in headdresses, necklaces and traditional attire strutted along a catwalk lined with green foliage to the cheers of a couple of hundred onlookers, many of whom had their smartphones out to share the event on social networks, The Associated Press reported.

Kajina Maneira da Costa, from the Nukini people in Acre state, near the border with Peru, said she was nervous before taking to the stage, but was proud to be representing her people.

“There still exists a lot of prejudice. It’s not normal to see an Indigenous fashion show,” the 19-year-old said.

Kitted out in a bright yellow dress and headdress, Célia Xakriabá, a federal lawmaker from the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais, said on stage that the event was about “decolonizing fashion.”

“Today we showed the power of our creation in clothing ... our headdresses and our ancestry. We participate in politics when we sing and parade,” Xakriabá added later in a post on Instagram.

Xakriabá was voted in during last year’s October elections, at the same time as Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva defeated far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.

Since taking office in January, Lula has given significantly more attention to the demands of Indigenous peoples than his predecessor. Bolsonaro opposed Indigenous rights, refused to expand Indigenous territories and had a record of statements critics called racist.

In Lula’s third, non-consecutive term, eight Indigenous territories have been demarcated, and he created the country’s first Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, headed by Indigenous woman Sonia Guajajara.

Indigenous women are increasingly center stage on Brazil’s political scene, and even within their communities. The Third March of Indigenous Women, which took place from Sept. 11 to 13, is a testament to their growing movement.

“Indigenous men had visibility, but now women are adding their strength to the defense of their territory too,” said Ana Paula da Silva, a researcher at Rio de Janeiro State University’s Indigenous peoples study program.

“They are marching to say ‘we are here’ and it’s no longer possible to keep ignoring us,” she added.



80-year-old LL Bean Staple Finds New Audience as Trendy Bag

Gracie Wiener poses with some of her tote bags in Washington Square Park in New York, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)
Gracie Wiener poses with some of her tote bags in Washington Square Park in New York, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)
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80-year-old LL Bean Staple Finds New Audience as Trendy Bag

Gracie Wiener poses with some of her tote bags in Washington Square Park in New York, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)
Gracie Wiener poses with some of her tote bags in Washington Square Park in New York, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)

L.L. Bean created it 80 years ago to haul heavy blocks of ice. Now it's a must-have summer fashion accessory, The Associated Press reported.

The simple, sturdy canvas bag called the Boat and Tote is having an extended moment 80 years after its introduction, thanks to a social media trend in which they're monogrammed with ironic or flashy phrases.

New Yorker Gracie Wiener helped get it started by ordering her humble bags from L.L. Bean monogrammed with “Psycho” and then “Prada,” the pricey Italian luxury brand, instead of just her name or initials, and posting about them on Instagram. Then others began showcasing their own unique bags on TikTok.

Soon, it wasn’t enough to have a bag monogrammed with “Schlepper,” “HOT MESS,” “slayyyy” or “cool mom.” Customers began testing the limits of the human censors in L.L. Bean’s monogram department, which bans profanity “or other objectionable words or phrases,” with more provocative wording like “Bite me,” “Dum Blonde” and “Ambitchous.”

Social media fueled the surge, just as it did for Stanley’s tumblers and Trader Joe’s $2.99 canvas bags, which were once selling on eBay for $200, said Beth Goldstein, an analyst at Circana, which tracks consumer spending and trends.
The tote’s revival came at a time when price-conscious consumers were forgoing expensive handbags, sales of which have weakened, and L.L. Bean’s bag fit the bill as a functional item that’s trendy precisely because it’s not trendy, she said. L.L. Bean's regular bags top out at about $55, though some fancier versions cost upward of $100.
“There’s a trend toward the utilitarian, the simple things and more accessible price points,” she said, and the customization added to the appeal: “Status items don’t have to be designer price points.”

L.L. Bean’s tote was first advertised in a catalog as Bean’s Ice Carrier in 1944 during World War II, when ice chests were common. Then they disappeared before being reintroduced in 1965 as the Boat and Tote.

These days, they’re still made in Maine and are still capable of hauling 500 pounds of ice, but they are far more likely to carry laptops, headphones, groceries, books, beach gear, travel essentials and other common items.

Those snarky, pop-oriented phrases transformed them into a sassy essential and helped them spread beyond Maine, Massachusetts’ Cape Cod and other New England enclaves to places like Los Angeles and New York City, where fashionistas like Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Jessica Parker are toting them — but not necessarily brandished with ironic phrases.

“It’s just one of those things that makes people smile and makes people laugh, and it’s unexpected,” said Wiener, who got it all started with her @ironicboatandtote Instagram page, which she started as a fun side hustle from her job as social media manager for Air Mail, a digital publication launched by former Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Graydon Carter.

The folks at L.L. Bean were both stunned and pleased by the continuing growth. For the past two years, the Boat and Tote has been L.L. Bean’s No. 1 contributor to luring in new customers, and sales grew 64% from fiscal years 2021 to 2023, spokesperson Amanda Hannah said.

The surge in popularity is reminiscent of L.L. Bean’s traditional hunting shoe, the iconic staple for trudging through rain and muck, which enjoyed its own moment a few years back, driven by college students.