Oaxaca City is becoming a center for innovative fashion that combines modern styles and materials with ancient techniques and craftsmanship. Many of the designers and shops listed here work with local artisans and not only sell the work of these creative masters but also work to safeguard disappearing traditions. Here are eight stores that will give you a feel for the effervescent fashion movement of Oaxaca.
Tutü & Co
Modern-day handbags with a touch of the traditional makes Tutu&Co stand out among Oaxaca’s designers. They riff off some of the region’s indigenous techniques of weaving and embroidery to add individuality to their shoulderbags, purses and handbags.
Tutü & Co, Calle de Mariano Abasolo 103, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., +52 01 951 183 9918
Lilliana del Toro Diseños
Lilliana del Toro is a Oaxacan clothing designer who combines the traditional embroidery often found on Oaxacan huipil, which is a sleeveless smock worn with a white skirt underneath it. She takes inspiration from these colorful designs to create pieces with that same lively style but in modern, feminine cuts.
Lilliana del Toro Diseños, 5 de Mayo 402, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., +52 01 951 514 5384
Mariana Grapain Etno Diseño Concept store
Mariana Grapain works with 30 women in the Oaxacan zone of Ayahuatla de la cuenca y cañada to create technicolor blouses, dresses, skirts and pants in traditional cuts, but with high-end cloth and high-quality thread. Mariana sees her work as more than simply a business, but a project to safeguard the artisanal clothes-making processes that are being lost and she is dedicated to creating records of some of the most ancient designs used in this region of the world.
Mariana Grapain Etno Diseño Concept store, 5 de Mayo 408, interior 7-1, 68000 Oaxaca, +52 1 55 2899 293
Fabiola Calvo’s unique designs have been seen on the runways more than once. She has taken a love for Oaxacan art and textiles and transformed it into pieces that a supermodel can strut through town in. Modern and chic but with an ancient art to them, her pieces scream sophistication and authenticity.
Miku meko. El atelier
Miku Meko has a little bit of everything – jewerly, ceramics, clothing, home decorative items and art pieces. The shop was started by Alelí Hernández as a collective of female artisans working independently and selling in a common space in the Mercado Sánchez Pascuas in the center of Oaxaca, and now members of the collective have set up this store-workshop under the direction of Hernandez.
Miku meko. El atelier, Allende 207, 68000 Oaxaca, +52 1 951 107 6897
Hilo de Nube
The Hilo de Nube store in Oaxaca City creates traditional huipil shirts with the help of artisans in the community of San Juan Guichicovi, Oaxaca. Their shirts are made in the typical campesino style using traditional techniques but marketed to a younger, more urban shopper in Oaxaca and online through their web catalogue.
Silvia Suarez store
Silvia Suarez makes flowing and feminine couture fashion incorporating traditional embroidery and other sewing techniques. Originally from Argentina, Silvia grew up in Oaxaca and has been working as a designer for the last 15 years. Her work is dedicated to fair trade opportunities for the artisans she works with and sustainability in her products and their process of creation.
Silvia Suarez store, Adolfo C. Gurrión 110 Int. 1, Col. Centro, Oaxaca., +52 (951) 51.68633
Antiga by Vianney Mendez
Vianney Mendez creates the most abstract, modern pieces on this list. Her strong suit is a large collection of woven, cloth jewerly that sparkles like diamonds with bold, bright color schemes and chunky styles. She works with local artisans to create her clothing and jewerly in fairtrade agreements that provide them with a fair living wage.