Budapest fashion show seeks to hem prejudices

Budapest fashion show seeks to hem prejudices

BUDAPEST - Agence France-Presse
Budapest fashion show seeks to hem prejudices

AFP photo

Budapest’s fashion world was treated Saturday to a display of Roma couture, intended not just to present new creations but to help combat prejudice against the minority group.

Some 350-400 people attended the show partly sponsored by the Open Society group of billionnaire US philanthropist George Soros, who was born in Budapest.

The event, organised by Romani Design, took place at the Hungarian capital’s fine arts museum in the symbolic Heroes Square.

“To diminish prejudice against the Roma, to limit as much as possible the growing number of conflicts within society through fashion,” is Romani Design’s stated mission.

Founder Erika Varga explained that while many aspects of Roma culture were present in Hungarian culture, its fashion was marginalised, with Roma and Hungarians having little idea of each other’s ways of dressing in the past.

“We are organising our shows to foster mutual acceptance, peaceful cohabitation,” the company said.

Most of the 800,000 Roma in Hungary, who account for just under 10 percent of the national population, live in abject poverty and under the threat of discriminatory attacks.