We had the good fortune of connecting with Pangea Kali Virga and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Pangea, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
The fashion industry is often viewed as glamorous and exclusive, but most people are oblivious to the labor and resources that go into the products they consume, especially so when it comes to the fashion industry. Many brands use forms of modern slavery to create clothing and accessories with little to no transparency concerning these practices. The fashion industry is also one of the most polluting industries globally, more than all world wide transportation combined due to the water and land use to grow textile fibers, the water and chemical use for dyeing fabrics, the burning of billions of items that do not sell, the support of the fossil fuel industry through plastic clothing (all polyester and many other synthetic fabrics are made from oil), the disposability of fashion leading to billions of lbs of clothing annually in landfills, and on and on.

There are many ways to counteract this as a consumer such as buying less, wearing the clothes you already own as many times as possible, washing clothes as little as possible and air drying them, passing your clothing on to loved ones before donating them (as most donated clothing still ends up in landfills), learning how to mend your clothing, investing in quality clothing that is sustainably made, and most of all researching before you buy! As a consumer we can only do so much, but we can also take radical action through boycotting, reaching out to brands directly to share our opinions and desires around sustainable practices, and reaching out to politicians to support climate change bills and regulations around labor, pollution, and production. If anyone is interested in learning more about this topic please feel free to reach out via my website or attend one of my monthly workshops covering these topics and sewing skills!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art practice focuses on fashion, fantasy, fiber, and sustainable practices and education. I pride myself on creating one of a kind pieces of wearable and non-wearable art that are unlike anything else in the world crafted from upcycled fabrics sourced primarily from the local community. The pieces I make are for people who wake up and say “today is going to be the best day of my life” and want to look fabulous because they understand that each breath is a blessing. My art and clothing is dramatic, and one of a kind in the sense that it can never be made again. I make clothes for flirting and falling in love, for appreciating art, for showing off, for dancing, for play, for adventuring, for long dinners and indulgent breakfasts, and for all the small moments that make up our lives. These are pieces to hold on to for a lifetime and pass down to friends and heirs and loved ones as heirlooms and markers of your history and your life.

This year has brought bountiful opportunities for me to expand my creative vision including my first solo fiber art exhibition at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden titled, Have You Reckoned The Earth Much, my first costume design work for an opera at the Vizcaya Museum for IlluminArts, my first dance costume design work for TWIST by the Adele Myers Dance Collective at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, showcasing my Inner Compulsion collection in the award winning independent film, Summer In Hindsight, making dozens of custom orders, having my work continuously showcased in international publications and various performances, and most importantly getting the opportunity to inspire the youth and provide creative spaces through teaching and mentoring at ProjectArt and the Miami Dade School System Internship program. I also teach art workshops on a monthly basis teaching individuals how to sew, mend, and practice more sustainable techniques in their daily life. It is exciting being able to constantly learn new techniques, experiment with new styles, and collaborate with so many individuals, artists, and institutions.

I have been on this trajectory for my entire life, sketching clothing at the age of 6 and starting my education formally in high school, and finally graduating from FIT in 2012. Now, years later I have done everything from styling covers for fashion magazines to head designing for a brand in Vietnam to Executive Producing fashion shows. Being a freelancer and toeing the line between fine art and fashion has allowed me to pursue all sides of this industry and expand my vision and understanding of my craft.

The fundamental independence of the human soul is what keeps me going. I hope through my clothing this kind of liberation is translated and transferred to the wearer. The clothes I make as Pangea Kali Virga reflect the joy it is to be human, the want to be free and fearless, and are laced with the ecstasy that is art.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I feel so blessed to live in such a gem of a city. There are plentiful adventures to be had with so many special places to explore and I love to share these spots with friends and Miamians alike!

The art scene in South Florida is filled with expansive collections of exciting contemporary art with some of my favorite exhibitions being at the PAMM, the BASS, the ICA, the Marguelies collection, Cernuda Arte Gallery, the Rubell, and Superblue. The Magic City is known for its incredible selections of contemporary Latin and Caribbean art which helps me feel closer to and more understanding of Miami culture. The public art scattered around the city is also not to be missed! Keep your eyes peeled for the vibrant murals and monumental sculptures in each neighborhood!

The biodiversity and lush landscape found in South Florida is unlike anything else with bountiful bird-watching, dense jungle, forest, swamps, and more with fun opportunities to explore nature through hiking, cycling, water sports, and more. The Everglades, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, The Fairchild Botanical Garden, Oleta State Park, Fruit and Spice Park, Virginia Key, and Bill Baggs Beach are rejuvenating safe havens.

After a delightful day of sightseeing I love sitting down for a big vegan meal at Naomi’s Garden in Little Haiti for their Caribbean fare or an indulgent vegan dinner in South Beach at Planta. For a treat I love to get a scoop or two of fresh vegan ice cream at Dasher & Crank in Wynwood.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
All success in our work, our lives, our love, and everything we do comes from the bonds of community and collectivism. There are countless people who have shown love and kindness through their patronage, collaboration, critiques, and interest. I have the most gratitude for my partner Nico Hough, my favorite artist and long time collaborator whose music can be found on Soundcloud.  All my love to my friends who have lifted me up in times of self-doubt and shared in the celebrations of all my triumphs. I would not be doing what I am doing if it was not for my collaborators who lift our collective vision to new heights like Jonathan Cox (aka Dev Knight)Arielle FrancoisHassni CainaLarry of Brother JuniorRyan Swartzlander, Mark Allen, my incredible 2021 interns Emma, Samantha, Abel, and Ariana, and so many other amazing members of my community like the Aloha Redland Farm, Fountainhead Studios, and Pivot MKT to name a few.

Website: www.pangeakalivirga.com

Instagram: @pangeakalivirga to follow my artistic journey and adventures + @_pangeakalivirga to follow my sustainable brand!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pangeakalivirga

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbq-YcZfhvLh4_pH1o17b7Q

Other: My studio is open to the public Monday through Saturday 11am-7pm by appointment. Feel free to reach out and stop by at pangeakalivirga.com

Image Credits:
All images have photographers name in the file title. 1. Photography by Dev Knight 2. Photography by Kelby Reckd 3. Photography by Jeff Evrard 4. Photography by Bailey Robb 5. Photography by Simon Soong 6. Photography by Owise Abuzaid 7. Photography by Christopher Thomas Linn 8. Photography by Ricky Michiels

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.