2019 Jose Luis Cabrera

Through my creative practice I seek to give domestically abused children and underdeveloped communities a voice. This collection reflects on the machismo culture that has dominated the Dominican Republic since its existence, and raises awareness about domestic violence as a social cancer.

The uniform and regime of Dominican dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo serve as inspiration to represent subtle hints of violence experienced by children
throughout the collection. The innocence that characterizes the victims (children) is represented through the use of sugar flowers as military
insignias and hats, that I usually associate with my childhood and innocence.

The sugar flowers feature tears of melted aluminum as a symbolism of suffering and being ripped away from one’s childhood. The connotation of innocence is not only informed by the use of sugar, but also by the “playful” silhouettes throughout the collection inspired by the way children dress in the Dominican Republic.
When I left everything behind in the Dominican Republic, my goal was to have better educational opportunities to improve my life and the lives of my family members. Studying at Parsons has open an endless world of opportunities and I want to give other children like myself the opportunity to have access to art and education.

With this in mind, I created the W Sons of Violence Organization; which seeks to educate abused children and provide them with art therapy to help them
become future leaders through a circular system with my brand ROA. I believe the future of fashion lies in our healthy and responsible interaction with the environment and vulnerable communities. My career as a designer is devoted to challenging our current system and finding ways in which fashion can positively contribute to the world.


2019 Parsons Social Innovation Award Winner