Aya de Leon

author – activist – faculty – mom

San Juan Fashion Week: Black is the New Black

Reporting on San Juan fashion week, I have to say, I am really BLOWN AWAY by some of what I see.

What is Puerto Rico wearing right now??

First off, Black is really the new Black. Here we have model, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz in a fashion forward cry for help T-shirt from the colonizing US Government which is strangling the island nation with the Jones Act, but not providing the aid it has already available.

And Activist and Journalist Rosa Clemente in a Defend Puerto Rico shirt, accentuated by the blackout that continues on much of the island most of the time!

And here we have the twist on the runway. Let me tell you what everyone in San Juan is wearing…water!

And you know what else is all the rage? Lines. Everyone in lines. Lines for gas. Lines for water. Lines for the bank. Lines for the airport…


Check out those accessories!!

Speaking of all the rage. One of the most popular accessories was the angry placard. Bright graphic signage was very popular. These people who are colonized without representation seem to have a lot to say!

Trending now!

Another frequent trend was military green and camo. Particularly among troops who seem to have orders that focus more on controlling the population than helping distribute supplies or rebuild.

According to Journalist Rosa Clemente, some of the FEMA encampments have food and water that they haven’t even bothered to distribute in areas like Hutuado. But those areas also are suspected to have copper and uranium deposits, so maybe they don’t want people to stay. My fashion prediction is that US corporations will be wearing plenty of Puerto Rican copper next season!

As a fashion statement, it’s as if white supremacy, the shock doctrine, disaster capitalism and climate catastrophe are all intersecting in Puerto Rico right now

Who wore it better?

According to this obscure fashion critic, Texas and Puerto Rico wear a hurricane very differently!

Must haves!

Another thing you saw everywhere was umbrellas. So handy, especially when you no longer have a roof over your head, or are waiting in long lines in the heat…or the rain!

Fashion don’ts!

I must say there was one very unpopular designer. His accessories seemed to be mostly lies and bullshit. Not to mention paper towels!



But regardless of some of these fashion fails, the people of Puerto Rico continue to band together and fight for survival and justice.

Photo by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Clenched Fist Productions @FistUpTV @Steph_Llanes @RaquelReichard @TheeKatsMeoww @RosaClemente


Photo by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Clenched Fist Productions @FistUpTV

There was no shortage of embraces, in grief or encouragement or both.

And as always, the flag–either classic colors or resistance black–is everywhere. #PROnTheMap

As a California Boricua living in the diaspora, I want to make sure the entire world keeps an eye on all these disaster capitalism, colonial fashion trends.

Who wore it better?

A baseball hat in a crisis says, “elected official at work.” So who wore it better?

Carmen Yulin Cruz, San Juan mayor who has been working tirelessly for her people and speaking out about the racist and willfully neglectful handling of this humanitarian crisis?

Or Donald Tr*mp, who posed for a few pics, practiced his jump shot, and spent most of his time in a wealthy San Juan suburb?

You be the judge.


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This entry was posted on October 18, 2017 by in Uncategorized.

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Aya wins first place Independent Publisher Awards for UPTOWN THIEF, THE BOSS, THE ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS

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