Carla Fernandez is a Mexico City-based fashion designer who takes inspiration from traditional artisanship. She founded Taller Flora, a demi couture line with a distinct geometric style, co-designed by and using Mexican artisans. She also designs a prêt-à-porter line fabricated industrially also inspired by Mexico! Both of these lines get regular coverage in women’s fashion magazines like W and Harper’s Bazaar. Carla travels internationally and is a true academic in contextualizing craft, indigenous women’s collectives, and ecological-minded methods of production in fashion. Her designs are ingenious and blend the old with the new like rebozos with sleeves or sunglasses fashioned from molinillos. She has two beautiful high concept boutiques in Mexico City, a coffee table book collaboration with Graciela Iturbide, and continues to win global accolades for her work in fashion.
Place of Birth: Saltillo, Coahuila
Parents Place of Birth: Father Cuba, Mother Saltillo
Occupation: Fashion Designer and Art Historian
In which neighborhood do you live, and why? I moved to Colonia Roma about ten years ago. I cannot imagine living anywhere else in the city. I live in a beautiful house from 1904 that has a Tule (a tree from Oaxaca) right in front. I can walk up to amazing restaurants and mercaditos.
How do you help Mexico City be a better place to live in? I love Mexico City. I try to transform that into my clothes. I use fabrics that I find here, and I work with artisans from the city. I make it evident in my fashion what I think is amazing of the city.
Share the best piece of advice you’ve been given: “No te preocupes, mejor ocupate” which translates to “You shouldn’t worry, instead occupy yourself to solve the problem”.
Where did you go to school, and what did you study? I studied fashion design at Iberomexicana de Diseño. I had a great teacher that used to work at the Atelier Valenciana in Spain. She came to Mexico during the Civil War in Spain. I also have a degree in Art History.
Who is your favorite thinker? Slavoj Zizek. I completely agree that we have to change the way we are living.
Who is your favorite designer or brand of product? Alexander McQueen. Obviously. Ian Van Dahl. Balenciaga has always been, for me, the master of couture. And Gareth Pugh lately…
What do you think, has had influenced the rising popularity of Mexico as a country? We have a variety of ethnic groups, traditions, a diversity of ecosystems. It’s that mixture of differences that makes us so unique. And I’m convinced
we have amazing minds, amazing creativity, culture and history.
What do you think about the cross-cultural phenomenon between Mexico
City and NYC? We are no longer seen only as Mexico, the country, but as innovation in what we design, write, in our food, our music, our art… all these things can be found in NYC.