ANCIENT CRAFTS, CONTEMPORARY DESIGN
Ancient Mexican craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation. The accessories label Legado has dedicated itself to promoting this textile craft and thus preserving part of the identity of the indigenous communities in Mexico. The result: beautiful handmade espadrilles and belts.
The founder of Legado is Charlotte Duthoit. She started her career in the cosmetics industry in marketing and then worked as a buyer in the luxury industry. In 2005, she moved to Mexico for a job, where she stayed for 10 years.
She loved spending her time visiting folk art exhibitions, museums and markets. As she travelled around the country, she met wonderful artisans who still practiced traditional crafts.
Her professional experiences, including several years at Hermès, had strengthend her interest in craftsmanship. In a world where speed is everything, Charlotte dreamed of promoting the value of craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation.
Back in France, she founded her label Legado in 2019.
Charlotte Duthoit, the founder of Legado
Promoting traditional Mexican craftsmanship and giving it a fresh look through contemporary design was the goal. The collection's keypieces are espadrilles made from coloured ribbons. Legado also offers hand-woven belts. Boho-chic accessories full of meaning and history.
Weaving is mostly done by women with the "telar de cintura", a backstrap loom that dates back to pre-Hispanic times. This technique is mainly used to make their own wardrobe. It is an integral part of their identity. Through their clothing, each community can tell who belongs to whom! The iconography of these weavings has remained unchanged for hundreds of years. They regard nature as a source of life and worship it as such. Thus, everyday animals such as fish, ducks, owls and scorpions can be found on the textiles.
Charlotte works with the Mendoza family. They are recognised as "masters" of this craft. Their work is regularly exhibited in museums in the Mexican capital. The family organises the work with community members and friends. Through this collaboration, Legado enables them to live with dignity from their know-how, maintain the tradition of weaving and continue to live with their families in their village.
Artisans of the indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico
Legado works with the best weavers in Mexico, but also with one of the best espadrille workshops in Spain. The espadrille, which also has a centuries-old history, is made entirely by hand. After making the sole out of jute, the Spanish craftsmen meticulously sew on the fabric that the Mexican artisans made a few weeks before.
The workshop in Spain producing the espadrilles
Legado is socially committed. All collections are designed with an ethical and responsible approach. They work directly with the artisans of the indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, who set the price themselves. The mostly female artisans are often mothers, cooks, bakers or have other jobs in addition to their craft work. All are allowed to work from home at their own pace.
The aim is to make the business profitable in the long term, thus securing the jobs of local artisans and preserving the craft.