Inside Oaxaca's Female-Led Craft Revolution
"Not so long ago, craft was something of a dirty word. “It was craft or design, but they never mixed,” Fuentes said. Forcella, who came to Oaxaca most recently from Chiapas, described a global “boom of handicraft” in the region as a blessing and a curse. “We are living in a privileged moment,” added Fuentes, of the growing craft trend you see in the proliferation of embroidery and tassels in every collection from Isabel Marant to J.Crew. “But we have to be conscious of our social, not just aesthetic, responsibility to work with the people who carry these traditions so that they don’t die out when the trend is over.”
"The irony isn’t lost on them that while Oaxaca—Land of the Seven Moles, as well as of the ancient city of Monte Albán, a complex of pyramids, markets, and temples built by the highly advanced Zapotecs, who also produced some of the earliest 365-day calendars and forms of writing—is trending among an international gypset, it’s also one of Mexico’s poorest states. And so the group embraces fashion’s ephemeral spotlight with cautious optimism, looking to the success of the Slow Food movement, which has drawn international attention to the nuance of, say, a yellow mole, as well as the deceptive simplicity of a street cart memela spread with asiento (pork fat)."
Read more. And check out our made-in-Oaxaca products: the Josefina Tote, made of Oaxacan wool, hand dyed with local indigo in an ombre pattern, and the handwoven (on the tiniest loom) Te Quiero bracelet.