Carla Fernandez: Working with heritage to make a fashion statement

Carla Fernandez talks about the richness of Mexican fashion design, its heritage and identity, and explains how everything is made of squares and rectangles.

Fashion designer Carla Fernandez works with different communities in her native Mexico to design garments that speak to Mexican heritage and identity.

At the What Design Can Do conference in Amsterdam Fernandez explained that “mobility” is an important part of her design process – with her label she travels to the communities where the artisans are based.

In studying traditional Mexican garment making techniques, Fernandez found that everything was made out of squares and rectangles. Her work also draws on these forms to create various bespoke pieces with beautiful fabrics.

Fernandez talks about the designs of the Mexican cowboys with leather embroidery, as well as dresses made using the same technique as is used to make hammocks.

Looking to the future, Fernandez says the next generation already have the design skills to continue this uniquely Mexican way of designing, as it is passed down from generation to generation. The important thing rather, is to find ways to monetise it to ensure its continued existence.

Ultimately Fernandez’s work is concerned with showing the world the best of Mexican design.