Fashion statements

Fashion statements

The garment and footwear industry is the fastest growing economic industry in Cambodia and is worth approximately $5 billion, annually. Popular brands such as H&M, Adidas, Calvin Klein, and GAP are all made in the huge warehouses that line the highways around Phenom Penh. These bleak and dusty environments are brightened only by the colourful fashion trends of the workers, a majority of whom are young women. The women have often travelled great distances from their home villages to live and work in these industrial areas. After a protest and strike in January 2014, police and government officials attacked, arrested and killed garment workers who were asking for more pay and better benefits. This portraiture series is framed in a ‘street fashion’ style to elucidate and warp typical notions of – and threads between – designer, consumer, worker and trend-setter.