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Mayan Culture Meets Haute Couture


The Mayans of the Yucatan Peninsula are one of Mexico’s oldest civilizations tracing its origins to 2600 BC. It is also one of the most culturally rich ancient civilizations, something that French fashion house Christian Louboutin decided to showcase to the world. Louboutin, known for its high-end red-soled shoes that celebrities love to wear, went to Mexico to commission 2,000 pieces, utilizing more than 200 Mayan artisans to produce its ‘Mexicaba’ tote bag.

The good news for the French designer is that the bags, retailing for $1,490 have sold out. The even better news is that 10 percent of each bag sale when to the Taller Maya foundation which works tirelessly to preserve Mayan craftsmanship. The foundation worked as the middle-man between the local artisans, all women, and the French fashion house ensuring the women were compensated fairly.

The true success story is that these one-of-kind bags showcase the ancient tradition of Maya embroidery. Each Mayan family owns a unique weaving pattern that tells their life story, though common themes of nature and Mayan mythology are often included in the embroidery.

Louboutin simply provided the materials and the Mayan woman did the rest. The bags feature cotton panels of unique embroidery, bone beads beautifully painted with mythical creatures and inside everyone’s possessions will be guarded by the iconic Day of the Dead skulls. The designer then added their signature logo and spiked leather handles.

For the rest of the world that does not do Louboutin you can find classic Maya embroidery in ‘huipiles’, tunic-like clothing that are sold throughout Mexico and Central America. You can also visit the Yucatan Peninsula home to these Mayan weavers and buy bags from Taller Maya with the much more affordable price of $30-to-$60.

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HSN Staff Writers

HSN staff writers are a group of enthusiastic and talented creative-types that generate great story lines and write about current events with a distinctively Latino voice always respecting the audience it writes for.

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