Victoria Martinez Azaro

I always thought of the Fashion Industry as my industry. My great grandparents emigrated from Italy to Argentina in the 1900 bringing their textile knowledge and traditions with them. They built a life for themselves in the New World by weaving thick woollen blankets in their factory in Villa Alsina, Buenos Aires. My mother remembers going to Italy for six months in the 1940’s when she was only four years old while my grandfather acquired weaving machines and technical equipment and support for their factory in Argentina.

At age 18 I started my Fashion Design degree in The UBA, Universidad de Buenos Aires. That was the beginning of an exciting career in the fashion industry which saw me acting as a fashion stylist, fashion editor, fashion PR, fashion designer, fashion design lecturer, installation artist…and I fell in love with the process of telling my story through cloth. Also, the best part is that by traveling for work and for study within the industry I met my husband, then moved to New Zealand.

More recently, I have devoted myself to teaching and to my art/design practice. I became an advocate for immigrant women using cloth to tell their story, sustain their craft and celebrate their language and culture.

Sustaining and revaluing cultural practices through fashion has become a crusade of mine. It always was (unconsciously at the beginning) and will always be. Now, with the current fast fashion scenario I feel it’s a MUST to use my knowledge and experience to contribute to the fashion industry in a positive way, to sustain its production as a valuable tool and vehicle for collaboration, for exploration and communication of cultural identity, social awareness and memory, and above all for cultural appreciation in an way which is respectful of our precious planet boundaries and can be sustained for millions of years to come.

CV: Mother of three, fashion designer, fine artist, fashion design lecturer, fashion sustainability advocate, children’s books author/illustrator, passionate about sustaining textile crafts, creator of The Traveling Sewing Box Project (C), researcher of cultural value and memory in textiles…