If you thought Fall/Winter 2017 was all faux fur, somber tones, and velvet, think again. In a season that typically draws on the deeper, darker inspirations of yesteryear, Christian Louboutin is preserving the history of today’s Yucatan Peninsula, unveiling his undeniably zestful ‘Mexicaba’ tote bag.
The bountiful accessory is the creative output of Louboutin’s latest collaboration with the workshops of Taller Maya – part of the Fundacion Haciendas del Mundo Maya – a foundation that bases its works on preserving the unique craftsmanship and authentic skills of artisans in the Yucatan Peninsula. In a time when true authenticity can be diluted, Taller Maya strives to preserve authenticity, and the ‘Mexicaba’ really is a true representation of just that.
Using their skills learnt from mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers, the Mayan women focused on folk art and cross-stitch embroidery to create a piece for Louboutin that is full of Mexican flavor. The vibrant tote features panels of beautifully handwoven cotton, vivid traditional Mayan embroidery, and both wooden and bone beading. This type of craftsmanship means very few totes are the same, adding a truly unique and personal Mayan touch to the 20 variations produced of the same design.
This isn’t the first time Christian Louboutin has worked with a charitable organization on his collections, previously partnering with Company of Senegal and Western Africa (CSAO) on the predecessor of the ‘Mexicaba’: the ‘Africaba’. And the production of his latest bag still reaches out for help from the embroiderers of CSAO in the form of the completely fun poupette bag charm. This charming accessory is made by the women of CSAO, dressed in Paris, and accessorized in Italy, meaning a single bag links the hands of artisans all around the world.
You only need to visit my house and see all the stuff I’ve brought back over the years to know I really love the diversity of Mexican design.
The designer spoke exclusively to Savoir Flair on why he chose Mexico to inspire his collection this time. “You only need to visit my house and see all the stuff I’ve brought back over the years to know I really love the diversity of Mexican design. The heritage is so rich, from the indigenous side, to the arrival of the Spanish, to the melange when these come together. I love the embroideries, the colors, the pagan motifs of wild animals that are a little naive, and all the images of death that are taken in such a light way — it isn’t scary anymore,” explains Louboutin.
The designer is also drawn to the cultural and architectural influences of the region: “Luis Barragan’s architecture is definitely one of my favorite things about Mexico. He combines Old Mexico with modernity, and I particularly admire his use of color and emphasis on form and texture. Casa Barragan is worth a visit – it’s like a secret, its interior style impossible to comprehend from its humble street façade.”
A bag that is aesthetically stunning, full of history, and supports local partners? It gets a tick, tick, tick from Savoir Flair. Browse the gallery, below, showcasing Louboutin’s trip to Mexico and the beautiful crafts of Taller Maya.
The ‘Mexicaba’ is available in stores now. Every bag sold will benefit Taller Maya and Mexican artisans directly, with ten percent of profits from sales in Christian Louboutin boutiques donated directly to the foundation.