For over two years, in Political Fashion, we’ve brought readers a series of analyses of the many elements that influence fashion. Politics, perceptions of gender, sustainability, celebrities, emotions, pop culture, weather, economy, and so much more.
All these elements influence (and are influenced by) the place where we are at. Because a Political Fashion reader from Colombia will have a different background from the readers of small towns in the United Kingdom or those who are reading from Los Angeles, California.
But each and every one of us is interconnected through social media, connecting flights, and emerging viruses that spread from one place to another.
This is why, Political Fashion will start bringing to you analyses on specific cities and places, and their fashion influence in today’s world. Because whether we talk about a place you don’t know or a place that you call home, the fashion influence that this place carries will travel to your Instagram feed, to the clothes your coworkers wear, and to the colors you see hanging on the fashion display at your nearest mall.
Today, we’ll talk about the Political Fashion influence of Mexico City in 2024.
Mexico City is the place where the Aztecs allegedly found the eagle eating the snake over a cactus, as a supernatural sign that this was the place where they should establish their civilization.
Mexico City is the city with the most museums in the world, with over 150 officially recognized museums, more than New York and Paris.
Mexico City carries a rich history of very ancient traditions, like the Day of the Dead, that Mexicans still celebrate. But the city is also developing further with architecture, businesses, entrepreneurship, and international attention.
This combination of ancient and futuristic makes Mexico City so fascinating. Concrete foundations from centuries ago are a few blocks away from the newest skyscrapers in the city. But a particular bloom of Mexico City has surged in recent years that is relevant to fashion.
In recent years, Mexico City has been the venue of meaningful international fashion moments. The last Dior cruise fashion show, inspired by Frida Kahlo took place at the Colegio San Idelfonso, celebrating the history, and craftsmanship of Mexican indigenous communities, while also making political statements about feminism. The show brought an extraordinary list of A list celebrities to the front row including Alicia Keys, and Naomi Watts, while also celebrating Mexican celebrities like Karla Souza and Yalitza Aparicio.
Then, there was the fashion show from an Italian fashion house that took place in the Soumaya Museum and was modeled and attended by international celebrities. The show set a precedent for how much international visitors enjoy the rich culture and history of a city that has witnessed the growth of so many creative small businesses, retailers, and artisan careers over the last decade.
Focus on local
A fashion movement tends to be the opposite of the previous fashion movement. The 90s darkness went against the maximal color palette that the 80s decade is remembered for.
In the second decade of this century, we saw the early stages of fast fashion develop at a speed that made fashion retailers have new products every single week so that shoppers had something new to see and treated clothing as something disposable.
Amid this fast fashion in steroids triggered by Shein, Temu, and other fast fashion retailers, many consumers are going back to the slow, local fashion that is meaningful, thoughtful, artisanal, and higher quality.
The support for local fashion is a general trend that we are seeing around the world. As young consumers are questioning the values of the companies that they purchase from, and are doing what they can, to support small businesses and emerging fashion designers.
But there is also the sustainable aspect. Knowing that if you live in Mexico City, and your clothes were made in the city or its surroundings, the environmental impact of this clothing is significantly lower than those labeled in the United States and constructed in Asia, which brings us to the next point, which is key to why Mexico’s on the fashion map.
Amid US-China tensions and the primary trend of nearshoring that references moving mass production closer to its base, Mexico is better placed than almost any country due to its geographical advantage, sharing borders with the US, and having affordable labor.
Trade tensions, supply-chain difficulties, and, to some extent, the environmental impact of shipping from Asia to America is pushing the US away from China, giving Mexico the chance to boost its GDP growth in future years to come.
La Malinche, a Nashua enslaved woman who accompanied Hernan Cortes when colonizing Mexico, was given to him as an interpreter and eventually became his right hand to allegedly enable her people’s demise.
The term Malinchismo refers to those Mexicans who commit an act of treason to Mexico or other fellow Mexicans.
This treason is not always as impactful as that the Malinche allegedly committed when disregarding the interests of her own people to see for her own interests. The word malinchismo, or malinchista to speak about a specific person, is often used when a person assumes American or European products and services are better than the local, simply because they are not from Mexico. Malinchismo is overlooking Mexican talent, craftsmanship, richness and culture, while assuming the foreign is better, simply because it’s not from Mexico.
Malinchismo exists in fashion, as many consumers prefer to buy clothes signed by an American brand that is internationally known (and made in China with low-quality polyester), overlooking the Mexican-made fashion that many talented designers and artisans produce to make ends meet and satisfy their customers.
It’s interesting to analyze Mexican fashion’s rising popularity, which parallels the arrival of American and European workers living in Mexico City to work remotely in the post-pandemic world. It is perhaps that these new residents are highlighting what many locals have taken for granted all this time, which is setting Mexico City on the path to becoming a fashion capital.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, and remote jobs became the norm, many American workers didn’t go back to their office. Instead, they moved to Mexico City to live a more affordable life.
A city of contrasts
Mexico City is home to the Cathedral of Zocalo, an architectural piece that was built over 400 years ago and has seen wars, destructive earthquakes, the beginning and end of a monarchy, the Independence of a country, and the shooting of a James Bond movie.
Mexico City has ages of history. Still, it is very new. Because the internationalization of our culture, inspiring people from around the country to visit the city and get inspired by it, has triggered reinvention, and the development of local businesses that are not just targetting those who are residents of the Mexican capital, but also those who travel to visit.
Interior Design & Mexico City
In the 20th century, archaeologists discovered that Mayans used a shade of vibrant blue that was resilient, and common among the civilization before the Spanish arrived. This blue is often used in Mexican arts and crafts with a powerful meaning in Mexican history.
In 1949, Mexican fashion Designer Ramon Valdiosera presented a fashion show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. The collection featured a powerful shade of pink that captivated the attention of the audience. What is the inspiration behind this colorful collection? The press wondered. “This is Mexican Pink” Valdiosera responded. “A color that is now part of Mexican culture.
This vibrant blue, and Mexican pink are part of Mexico’s history. It would be valid to argue that no one has ever invented a color, since colors are variations of other colors, light, value, and so on. But it is true that certain colors play a role in the history of a place, a person, or a period in time.
In the midst of this creative, and social bloom that Mexico City is experiencing, these colors serve as inspiration. Artists and designers are delivering interior design pieces that celebrate the colors that have been part of its past, with a vision of how the future will look like
The Gastronomy & the City
In the 1990s, Mexico saw a lot of protests from restaurant workers who saw the cost of living going up and their paycheck and working conditions not helping them to make ends meet.
Ever since, Mexican businesspeople have been working harder than ever to keep moving forward. Many of them decided to start their business again, or look for other partners. These efforts haven’t been easy, but it’s been until the last five years that a new slate of small businesses, and restaurants bloomed in the capital of Mexico with authentic concepts that celebrate Mexican cuisine, but also merge a variety of styles,