The annual Condom Couture fashion show kicked off last Friday, and for the first time in its three-year run, the one-of-a-kind event where sexual health meets vogue featured a design inspired by a Latina icon: Frida Kahlo.
The gala, hosted by Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, brings together Colorado artists who use condoms to design dresses that entertain on the runway and help decrease stigma around sexual health.
But this time around, there was a major Latina presence in the room.
The Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), an organization that works to secure reproductive justice for the state’s Latinas, helped sponsor the Hollywood-themed event, and they had no plans of going unnoticed.
"We want to bring something to the runway that is iconic, something that when you spot it, you think, 'yes. This is inspired by Latino culture,'" said Victoria Gómez Betancourt, COLOR’s communications and development director. "We are going to make a statement and use it as a conversation piece to bring back the subject of sex and sexuality in our community."
They didn’t disappoint.
Teaming up with local Mexican-American artist and COLOR volunteer Cindy Loya, the Latina reproductive justice organization presented a Frida-inspired design that wowed the 500-member audience and secured one of the night’s four awards. Loya’s vibrant condom look won the "Like a Virgin" prize for Best Amateur Design.
Latina spoke with the Denver artist to learn more about the event, the inspiration behind her Frida dress and why the issue of sexual health is important to the Latino community.
Why was it important for you to take part in this year's Condom Couture?
As an artist, I always try to take advantage of any opportunity that I can to create something that is generating community awareness.
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