With Christmas around the corner it’s always nice to find unique and interesting gifts, especially from craftsman and artisans thus supporting small businesses. We got to speak to Made in Mexico (MIM) a new creative hub spotlighting contemporary Mexican design and its first Winter Pop Up which is free to enter between 18th – 28th November. MIM for the first time is bringing together a varied collection of homewares, furniture, jewellery, clothing, accessories and more from 22 designers and independent brands from different states of Mexico – showing the best from its artisan community. The pop up will be located on 42 Brushfield St, next to Spitalfields Art Market and is open between 10am – 6pm. All pieces are handcrafted and have been expertly curated to showcase the region’s excellent high-quality design therefore is the perfect place to look for that unique gift this season or maybe just a treat for yourself.
What is MIM, and what inspired you to create this?
MIM is a creative hub that celebrates and promotes Contemporary Mexican Design. As three Mexican-British sisters who grew up immersed in two diverse cultures, we felt a responsibility to build a bridge between our two countries; and what better way to do it than through Design, a long-time passion we all shared as sisters. Our lifetime friend Mariana, being a creative and talented photographer, shared our ideas and vision and came on board. Our background as professionals is very diverse, however we are very proud of our heritage, and we believe passionately in Mexico, its unique culture and exquisite creativity. We want to show the world the vibrant and sophisticated work made by contemporary emerging designers as well as supporting the artisan community and traditions all around the country.
Why is Mexican Design unique?
We believe we are all the reflection of our surroundings and cultural influence. In this same vein, we consider that our Mexican designers reflect, in each of their pieces, Mexico’s vibrant influence, echoing the country’s ancient traditions, its abundant and varied resources, colours, and diverse surroundings. These specific influences, combined with contemporary design ideas, make the pieces displayed in our MIM (Made in Mexico) pop-up and online shop so unique and eye catching.
You have mentioned many commonly associate Mexican design/arts with ‘craft’. How does the work of the designers you work with compare to this?
Whilst Mexico has a rich history of manufacturing methods and artisan culture, until recently these methods were typically employed in a traditional context. The designers and brands we are showcasing all focus on adapting these traditional methods and skills to a contemporary context, either through materials, design or a combination of the two. We are passionate about presenting these contemporary interpretations to the international market and showing that Mexican design belongs in the top tier.
You are opening a pop up this November in East London – can you tell us more about the designers whose work is on sale?
The Pop-up showcases the work of 22 different designers and independent brands from diverse fields such as ceramics, fashion, homeware, jewellery, and photography, including:
- Anna Lebrija, a mother and daughter duo based in Mexico City whose unique and handcrafted ceramic products enhance the beauty of everyday life.
- Kitzin, which supports women in southern Mexico, encouraging them to use their artisan skills to make beautiful handmade textiles; and
- Axoque, a design studio based in the state of Michoacán, known for their unique furniture which combines locally sourced wood, stone, and copper, in tribute to endangered species and traditions.
MIM looks beyond the aesthetics and design, ensuring that the designers we work with follow ethical best practice. Each of the designers showcased have a socially responsible framework that promotes inclusive, equitable and healthy work conditions for the Artisans, and they only source materials and supplies locally, as well as making use of natural dyes and products for their pieces.
What can guests expect when visiting the pop up?
Guests can expect to find a collection of handmade pieces showcasing Mexican culture from various regions, designers and independent brands, with information about each designer’s philosophy. Paired with personal explanations from at least one of the three sisters, we hope to pique guest’s interest in Mexican designers and raise awareness of the traditional techniques that we hope to help preserve.
There is to be a gallery aspect and guests can learn about the traditional design techniques – what are these?
A key focus of presenting the best of contemporary Mexican design is appreciating the methods, materials and artisans that create the pieces in our range, thus ‘A Story Behind Every Piece’. We are presenting alongside each designer/brand the story of how the designs have been created which we look forward to sharing with visitors to our pop-up shop.
The pop up runs until 28 November – what’s next?
We also sell online and will continue to do so after our pop-up ends. We are always talking with the designers we collaborate with, finding new beautiful pieces that we would like to showcase, and we update our catalogue accordingly. Hopefully next year we will host another pop-up shop in London with new statement pieces sure to delight and intrigue guests in equal measure.
What are the future ambitions of MIM?
Our ambition is to showcase contemporary Mexican design to the international market. We hope to build brand awareness through the pop-up shop, supplementing our online offering through future pop-up events and eventually permanent retail spaces. Grow within the architecture and interior design community in the UK. Form collaborations with the designers to develop exclusive products for MIM