MEXICABA: Louboutin’s Latest Collaboration With Taller Maya

In Architecture & Design, Culture by Suzanne Koch

Known for his global reach and red-soled shoes, Christian Louboutin‘s recent collaboration found the high-end company amidst the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico where his latest bag was born. Touted the MEXICABA, the newest Treasure Tote was created in collaboration with Taller Maya, a design brand that celebrates the work of Mayan artisans and works with those in the Yucatan. With the aim to preserve the authentic craftsmanship, the artisans create cultural pieces that in turn provide long-term economic empowerment to them.

Taller Maya provides workshops where the artisans can gather together in far-out villages where they can learn skills from each other and forge a sense of community. They also teamed up with the Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya (FHMM) who provides the materials to build the workshops. While predominately women, the artisans’ skills range from inherited family methods to those just learning skills from people like their great-grandmothers. The workshops also feature an internal product designer who works alongside the artisans to create the unique pieces. Whether it’s cross stitch embroidery or weaving, Taller Maya houses more than 200 artisans of all different ages and skills, from varying communities throughout the Yucatan, all of which are paid fairly for their work.

“This has definitely been one of the most important and challenging projects we have been working on as a group since FHMM started in 2002. We knew, in advance, that accepting this challenge would require full time dedication from the whole FHMM team to support the artisans of the communities involved, to ensure that not only would they comply with the established time frame, but also deliver the quality product that Christian Louboutin expected. We truly felt honored to work with such great people,” said Carola Diez, Director of Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya.

The new MEXICABA Treasure Tote features bold handwoven cotton, vivid embroidery and traditional hand-painted beads—a perfect representation of the Mexican culture. Not only is the outside a colorful creation, but the inside features an exclusive Loubiskull lining, inspired by sugar skulls and paying tribute to Dia De Los Muertos.

“I LOVE the lining of the new bag; the Day of the Dead motifs turned into happy ghosts, keeping an eye on your stuff,” said Christian.

The MEXICABA tote joins the AFRICABA, the first of the Treasure Totes that was introduced in Spring/Summer 2016 and made by the women of La Maison Rose in Dakar, Senegal. Connecting the two totes, the new MEXICABA features a poupette bag charm made by the women of La Maison Rose along with weaving in other places around the world, each of importance to the Louboutin brand. The tote has bead work created in India, a long time loyalist of Louboutin’s, along with leather detailing from Christian Louboutin’s production team in Italy and lastly, finishing details of each MEXICABA are added in Paris, the home of the Louboutin world.

“I’ve always had a global outlook. Working with the most wonderful artisans from all over the world is completely natural for me,” says Christian Louboutin.

Not only is the luxe bag a symbol of international community but purchasing it in turn, supports those communities. Ten-percent of profits for each MEXICABA sold in Christian Louboutin boutiques will go directly back to Taller Maya.

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