Mercado Global Honored Leaders in Fashion, Finance, and Philanthropy for their Impact on Women’s Empowerment this International Women’s Day

NEW YORK, NY (March 8th, 2024) Mercado Global’s annual Fashion Forward Gala was held at Tribeca 360 on Thursday, March 7th in celebration of International Women’s Day, and started with a VIP Cocktail Hour at 6:30pm ET with the main event at 7:30pm ET.

 The Fashion Forward Gala is a renowned New York City event held to raise funds and awareness for Mercado Global, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that empowers Indigenous women artisans in rural Latin America with the skills they need to become independent entrepreneurs. This year’s event celebrated Mercado Global’s 20th year of serving these communities, while also honoring the fashion and corporate industry leaders who make this work possible.

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“I am so honored to be recognized by Mercado Global - an organization that shares my unwavering belief in the power and potential of women. Through their work with artisan communities, they are creating local development and generating positive change globally.” - says Johanna Ortiz, Founder of the self-titled lifestyle brand, Johanna Ortiz.

“We could not dream of a better group of Honorees to help celebrate our 20th year anniversary Fashion Forward Gala.” says Ruth Álvarez-Degolia, Founder and Executive Director at Mercado Global. “Johanna, Daniela, Andrea, and Mayra truly represent the core values behind the success of our organization. We are thrilled to gather with our supporters to celebrate our Honorees, our past successes, and share a sneak peak into what the future has in store for Mercado Global.”

Attendees included Johanna Ortiz, CEO & Creative Director at Johanna Ortiz, Daniela Villegas, Founder and Jewelry Designer at Daniela Villegas Jewelry, Miguel Enamorado, Accessories Editor at ​​Harper's BAZAAR, Sami Hayek Designer at Hayek Studio, Mayra Hernandez Gonzalez, Founder of Instituto Xilonen, Andrea Lisher, Managing Director, Head of North America, Global Funds at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, R Bonney Gabriel, Miss universe 2022, Christine Schevchenko, Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Estefania Lacayo, CoFounder of Latin American Fashion Summit, Dalia Oberlander, Founder of Latest Revival, and Fabiola Beracasa Beckman, Film and Television Producer.


As a leader in the ethical fashion movement for nearly two decades, Mercado Global empowers Indigenous women to transform their lives through entrepreneurship. Through their nonprofit programs, women become partner artisans and are provided with the training, materials, and tools necessary to produce fashion accessories for some of the biggest brands and retailers around the world, including Levi’s®, Stuart Weitzman, and Free People. Through their work with donors, retailers, and artisans, Mercado Global is reshaping the world to be more ethical, sustainable, and just – for all of us.

More images of the event can be found here

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