Mexican New Wave

Digitalisation is creating new opportunities for Mexican fashion as new players in the industry there take hold of all the advantages it offers. We meet two young designers who hold the future in their hands

 

 

The world is shrinking as digitalisation spreads. This is having an impact on all aspects of of life and work. This includes fashion, in which focus is partly being moved from the traditional fashion capitals, such as Paris, Milan, London and New York, to where the talent is, both in terms of design and street style. The Forumist went to Mexico to explore the local fashion scene, and met with two young, up-and-coming designers who tell us more about fashion and digitalisation in their home country.
The Mexican fashion scene of today is growing, and in general there is support and creative openings available for emerging talents. This is according to
Liz Campos, a sustainability-focussed designer who graduated from Centro in Mexico City in 2018, and was selected as a finalist for the International Fashion Award during Graduate Fashion Week in London last June.
In fact, Mexico today is full of innovative and experimental new designers just like Liz who want to share their interpretation of Mexican fashion with the world, and who are now increasingly recognised by international players such as magazines and the global fashion weeks. The garments are often colourful and joyful, with a lot of expression.

 

A new aspect of culture
“I think that we have talent in Mexico, but we still need to keep working and also trust in the talent we have”, says Gabriela González. She also recently graduated from Centro and describes herself as a person who loves to create and to share her vision of life and love – the latter, which she claims to be the most important ingredient of her work – with the world.
While fashion may not yet have the same importance as other, more traditional aspects of Mexican culture, such as music, film or fine arts, it is developing step by step, in a society where people love to express themselves through their own individual look. Even though fast fashion is still present, during the weekends you can also visit regional markets and bazaars, and those are often crowded with fashionistas, looking for unique items.

Getting closer to sustainability
Sustainability is high on the global fashion agenda, and Mexico is no exception. “Fashion has a long way to becoming sustainable,” Liz, “but we are getting closer every day, with new biodegradable fabrics, recycled threads and new solutions to countering climate change. In the future, sustainable design will be the only option.” Gabriela shares her view: “I love to think that the fashion industry will become more ecological and respectful of the planet. We are all aware of climate change and overpopulation. Therefore, in a future not too far from here, we have to be more conscious of the things we make and how we make them”. Besides sustainability, digitalisation is another main aspect of fashion today and in the future. Social networks like YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest give access to live catwalks, behind-the-scenes features and styling tips, but also enable us to browse and buy garments from around the world.
“To me, digitalisation and the internet are the most wonderful things that could happen to the fashion industry,” Gabriela continues. “With the right approach, anyone can position their brand and be known to the world, which I find amazing. It leads to new opportunities for growth and recognition. As for me, I love to share the things I love, and the internet is a great tool for doing so. Mexican society is already extensively digitalised and is still developing. It helps Mexican fashion to become more interesting to other countries.”

 

Opportunities and risks of digitalisation
On the flip side of the coin though, digitalisation also comes with a new kind of isolation, where we risk spending more time in the digital landscape than with our loved ones. “We have to be careful,” says Liz. “If we let social media control us, the content that we ingest on a daily basis could get to form our decisions eventually, which is not a good idea. We have to be present in the now and discover this beautiful planet that we call home.”
But she has also seen proof of the positive powers of digitalisation. “My beloved aunt has made arts and crafts all her life. We got her into uploading tutorials on YouTube and boom, now she has over 6,000 views. Digitalisation has indeed changed the way we are living, and it is a good thing for Mexico”.

Gabriela Gonzáles
Tell me about yourself and your work as a designer.
I could describe myself as a person who loves to create, to find beauty in the ordinary and who is always looking for a way to share my vision of life and love with the world. Love is the most important ingredient I have in my work as a designer and as a person. Everything I do, I always do with heart and soul, and I am always looking for ways to make my highest passions in life materialise through my design.
What is your inspiration when you design, and why?
My primary inspiration is the cosmos. I love the stars and I am always looking for a way to make my pieces to show the inspiration I get from something as big and beautiful as the universe. The second thing is textile exploration. I love manipulating fabrics and making new textures out of them, which I then find a way to combine.
What are your dreams and plans for the future?
Right now, I would like to explore costume design for film and TV, which is something I’d like to do, as well as having my own fashion brand.
@gabriela.gonmx

Liz Campos
Tell me about yourself and your work as a designer.
I was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz 25 years ago. From a young age, I knew I would be a fashion designer and eventually I enrolled for a BFA in Fashion and Textile Design at Centro in Mexico City. I graduated with honours as an outstanding student in December 2018. My thesis collection is titled Eudaimonia, which means health, prosperity and happiness. It was shown during Graduate Fashion Week in London last June, where I was selected as a finalist for the International Fashion Award. Through sustainable design, my brand reacts to existing social and ecological issues. The textile industry is the second most polluting in the world. I believe that through more sustainable fashion, we can create a healthier and happier planet.
What is your inspiration when you design, and why?
The Eudaimonia collection is inspired by biomimicry to create interesting silhouettes and innovative textiles. Inspiration in nature results in a collection that includes recycled fashion, eco textiles and modular design. It all starts with me being captivated by a species of plant or animal, because of its texture, colours, silhouette or structure. The official term is called biomimetics and literally means the imitation of elements of nature to solve human problems.
What are your dreams and plans for the future?
I am blessed to say that the brand has been very well received by the fashion industry, both nationally and internationally. We are currently working on several projects, all around the world. For instance, the Eudaimonia collection was shown during Doncaster Fashion Week in the UK and we also have plans for returning to London Fashion Week next February, to join a pop-up store. On top of that, I was recently invited to Design Week Mexico with Centro, where my garments that feature innovative eco-textiles will be exhibited at the Tamayo Museum in Mexico City.
@lizcamposmx

Team Credits:
Words by Johanna Bergström
Photography by Alexander Nuemann
Styling by Ricardo Arenas
Model: Akon Changkou at NEW ICON

Fashion Credits:
#1&7 DRESS by GABRIELA GONZALEZ X CENTRO, BOOTS by Ant
#2 Top NIKE, EARRINGS GUSTAVO HELGUERA
#3 TOP by EL BORDE, PANTS by MARIA PONCE
#4TOP by Scent, SHIRT by GABRIELA GONZALEZ X CENTRO, PANTS by LIZ CAMPOS x CENTRO
#5 DRESS by MARIA PONCE
#6 
TOP by GABRIELA GONZALEZ X CENTRO

 

 

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