The annual Cinco de Mayo passed this week, the date observed to commemorate the Mexican Army's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. We're proud to champion some of the brightest emerging Mexican designers and artisans, as the Mexican art scene has undergone tremendous change over the last decade. A culmination of circumstances which include low-cost machine-manufacturing, cheap import copies and artisans moving to urban areas to earn a living (and thus abandoning their crafts) have meant genuine, original artisan pieces reflect a certain authenticity that could be lost. Mexican art and design has a rich, illustrious history that stretches way back to pre-Hispanic times, with artisans applying techniques and styles to their works which have been handed down through generations. Check out a selection of our Mexican designers paying homage to Mexican tradition whilst treading new waters.
Sophie Simone Designs - Created by Franco-Mexican designer Sophie Simone Cortina (how apt). Her line reflects her love for her native Mexico, with timeless, feminine, versatile and unique pieces. She began making jewellery as a child, creating necklaces out of vintage broaches, secretly given to her by her grandmother, which she then turned into unique creations. Today, Sophie enjoys designing her collections from what inspires her the most and working closely with talented Mexican artisans. Jewellery to die for!
P’OOK by Arlop - "P'ook" means hat in the Mayan language, and this brand honours Mayan culture through collaboration with artisan descendants of it, master hat weavers through generations. Inspired by their stories and cultural heritage, and a desire to preserve and spread this art to every corner of the world, their hats are truly pieces of art.
Mamba - Every piece is handmade in Yucatan with a technique called filigree, preserving ancestral craft techniques. The silver is transformed into threads that are embroidered to form the final pieces. Every piece is designed by artisan Erika Diaz, who learned from the master craftsmen in Yucatan, Mexico. Erika collaborates with communities to make the packaging from Jipi Japa and other natural materials that can be reused. Working with these communities gives them a fixed income and they end up with a zero-waste product. Mamba is also part of a foundation called AMANC Yucatan that helps and supports children with cancer in Yucatan.
Casa Jaguar Swim - Earthly and minimal swimwear, designed in Tulum and ethically made in Mexico. They are a female-only company, paying fair salaries and supporting local craftsmanship.
Fervor - A workshop founded by Euri Lorenzo and Arantxa Solis, dedicated to creating decorative pieces, art objects and graphic material, using the application of gold leaf and other metals on diverse materials like stone, wood, and paper. One for design lovers.
And Jacob - handmade by artisans, each object is designed thinking of an ideal environment where object and space coexist in harmony creating the perfect mood. With the intention of creating thoughtful everyday objects, they are inspired by Mexican crafts with natural materials at their core. Truly inspired kitchenware and original glassware to be discovered!