Fashion designer Carla Fernandez works with indigenous communities throughout the country to create Mexican fashion. Her label keeps Mexican textile traditions from extinction and provides local artisans with additional income.

When I noticed the incredible clothing that the indigenous people in Mexico wear, I was in awe at how amazingly well dressed they seemed in comparison to the majority of people in the streets of Mexico City,’ Fernandez said in an interview. ‘So, I had the idea to try and create something I thought could be classed as Mexican fashion.’

Fernandez has a mobile design laboratory, Taller Flora, that travels through Mexico to work with the local craftsmanship, of mostly women. These traditions are merged with contemporary interpretation to create the demi-couture fashion collections. The brand has gained international acclaim for it’s approach to preserving the rich cultural heritage of Mexico’s indigenous communities and transforming it into beautiful clothing.

Fernandez studied art history in Mexico followed by a study in fashion at the Ibero Mexicana de Diseño design school. ‘Here I learned how to design and make clothes – I was a fully capable seamstress by the time I finished there,’ she says. ‘These two areas of study were both very useful for what I wanted to do with my own designs.’

Her collections have been shown in major venues in London, Boston, Japan, China and Mexico. In 2008 she was chosen as the winner of the British Council’s International Young Fashion Entrepreneur Award. She has acted as a visiting lecturer at Harvard University, MIT and the CCA Kitakyushu.