Art and ethical clothing have one thing in common: in each piece, nothing is missing nor wasted. In the face of industrial assembly and waste, today we’d like to introduce three Yucatecan brands that clothe you with sustainable fabrics and processes, creativity, and custom shapes…all while looking incredible.
“The act of dressing is our second skin by choice,” says textile artist Elena Martínez Bolio. “Dressing implies the registration of our internal state of the day. We dress to undress before others and reveal what we usually keep covered: what’s inside our skin.
Her creations at her workshop, named Desbordada, are powerful; knit and pigmented with traditional techniques around plots of personal feelings, social messages, or natural motifs. Shirts, dresses, scarves, and shawls are part of collections with themes of their own but can be customized to fit their owners.
“When we bring to the attire from a sad, dramatic theme with suitably provocative images, the poetic adjective springs forth applied to any form of sensibility or technical mastery, and the knit and weaving experience a love story and intertwine to give way to textile works,” Elena comments on her creative process. “I like that there is a sector that appreciates that which is timeless, which lasts in the wardrobe, which does not go out of style, which can be bequeathed.”
Corazón de Ixchel
Dressing is versatile, inclusive; an act made by hand, tailored, and done with heart. These are the beliefs held by Billy Manolo, whose name has been made famous by the brand he created: Corazón de Ixchel.
In every body, Billy has found beauty, and a heartbeat. That’s why each textile work tells a story: the first top that Billy made was born from playing with leftover fabric pieces that he kept from pre-pandemic courses. Carlota—his mannequin—inspired this garment, which he called Mook (“knot” in Maya). Being a side-tie top, the garment is especially versatile when it comes to size and occasion while minimizing material waste thanks to its artisanal manufacturing process. Once a new release, it is now one of the brand’s hallmarks.
From one heartbeat to the next: let’s travel to the heart of the Swiss Alps, in Ballenberg. That’s where, over a decade ago, Alicia Gamboa, founder and shoemaker at B&G Atelier, learned the technique to take you by the hand—or foot—from the taking of measurements and the selection of materials up to the fittings and adjustments. Alicia recovers the materials that are left behind by the food industry to create very high-quality items, with amazing colors and textures: hats, belts, harnesses, sandals, handbags, and bracelets. The workshop itself is a work of art made with passion.
There you can also find a wide collection of shoes created around the world, including some from past centuries; handmade jewelry, under the Caravana brand, which has been exhibited at the 2022 Zona Maco, elevating brass with semi-precious stones transformed into Yucatecan icons; and a circular fashion initiative in collaboration with prestigious brands.
At each of the stores above, you will find ready-made pieces, although customization is these brands’ common feature. Visit them, in person or on social media, to see their full catalogs, including options for international shipping and additional content.
Calle 4 Diagonal #160-B x 15 y 17, Col. Montecristo
Corazón de Ixchel
Calle 60 x 43 y 41, Centro
Billy Manolo (store)
Calle 47 x 58 y 60, Centro (in front of the Santa Ana park)
Calle 43 #464-A x 54 y 52, Centro
By Dave S. Mayoral
Dave Mayoral (1998) thinks it’s difficult to write in the third person without laughing in the attempt, but his background in Modern Language and Literature, Contemporary Art History, and Cultural Management tends to help him a lot…
Photography by Alfredo Dorantes, Edwin Alcocer, and Elena Moguel for its use in Yucatán Today.
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