Join me in welcoming Mexican-American fashion brand, GRAZIANO & GUTIERREZ, to Portland. Come meet co-founder, Alejandro Gutiérrez, and learn about the brand's newest collection, made in collaboration with artisans in Oaxaca and Chiapas.
Graziano and Gutiérrez was founded in 2018 by Alejandro Gutiérrez and Samuel Graziano after a trip to mexico to research different artisinal techniques and meet artisan and indigenous groups in Alejandro’s native home of the Yucatan; they decided to use these learnings to inform and create a platform to prolong and preserve the incredibly rich heritage of this country. By combining Alejandro’s personal culture, knowledge and experience growing up around these indigenous and artisan groups of mexico, his background in design, pattern making, and environmentally sustainable, slow apparel with Sam’s background in outdoor and active wear, product development and branding, G&G was formed. They based the brand around three major foundations: artisan collaboration, environmental responsibility, and transparency.
EDUCATION & TRANSPARENCY
ABOUT THE ARTISAN REGIONS
Teotitlan del Valle is a small village outside Oaxaca established in 1465; it was one of the first villages founded by the Zapotec people in this area. The name Teotitlan comes from Nahuatl and means “land of the gods”, it’s Zapotec name is Xaguixe. This village is known for it’s hand-woven textiles, especially rugs, which are woven on pedal looms, from wool obtained from local sheep and dyed mainly with local, natural dyes.
In Teotitlan del Valle we work closely with family Bautista Martinez who have specialized in textile making for 50 years. While working with wool is one of their specialities they also work with organic cotton to make lighter fabrics that can be used as comforters, tablecloths or in our case clothes. They acquire their cotton regionally and proceed to make their fabrics on pedal looms in their local work-shop.
San Andres Larrainzar, Chiapas
Chiapas is one of the states with the largest indigenous populations in Mexico making it rich with culture and history. We work with a local family business owned by Jorge Giacobone who started working with indigenous communities in 1980 to help preserve their traditional techniques and provide a platform for the artisans to showcase their work. Their fabrics are made on back-strap looms by artisans in the communities of San Andres Larrainzar, Chamuela, Oxchuc y Tenejapa. Together with local communities they’ve adapted centuries old weaving techniques in order to develop high-quality hand-woven textiles. The hieroglyphics are based on traditional Mayan motifs found in ancient sculptures within the region.