Dovetailing with the start of Fair Trade Month comes a Bay Area trunk show-cum-fundraiser by Project Chol Chol, a new fashion initiative that combines modern design with cultural preservation. The event celebrates the launch of a new line of “Mapuche Modern” fashion and accessories—pieces made by a collective of Mapuche women artisans using traditional weaving methods to create new shapes and forms, thanks to the direction of Jasmine Aarons, a young San Francisco-based designer. Besides looking quite beautiful, the garments exemplify something really exciting: a genuine collaboration between cultures (and generations) that gives an age-old, indigenous craft relevance in the modern world.
The Kuyen dress, named after a native flower, is emblematic of the Project Chol Chol collection and serves as a jumping=off point for future designs. The design celebrates a traditional Mapuche motif by projecting it onto a modern silhouette. In addition to the dress, the new line also includes shirts, belts, bags, and a variety of scarves. All Project Chol Chol pieces are 100 percent sustainable, made from locally sourced wool, and woven by Mapuche women artisans. Leather goods are crafted by a local artisan, as well.
Project Chol Chol pieces are 100 percent sustainable, made from locally sourced wool, and woven by Mapuche artisans.
Tonight’s event, hosted in Woodside, CA at Emily Joubert Home and Garden, will give people an opportunity to see the products, learn more about the Mapuche people, and observe the weaving process. With continued support, Project Chol Chol hopes to make its new products widely available through select vendors in the next year. Guests at the event will also be able to preorder certain Mapuche Modern items.
Project Chol Chol is affiliated with the Chol Chol Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit that promotes economic and social development through training, education, and microeconomic development projects.