Accessories Clothes Fashion

Vamos! La Hacienda Montaecristo

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By Chere Di Boscio

There’s much to be passionate about in Mexico: pristine natural forests and beaches, mouth-watering cuisine and heartfelt boleros.

But Hacienda Montaecristo owners Francesca Bonato and Jacopo Janniello Ravagnan are most passionate about Mexico’s flea markets, antiquities, and listening to the stories of the people who live in this fascinating nation.

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In fact, their passions were so strong, they forced Francesca to leave her native Milan during her University years and Jacopo, who was journeying through South America at the time, decided to settle in Mexico too. Today, the friends live in the Yucatan area of Mexico, where they set up their fashion business, Hacienda Montaecristo, in 2007.

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The origins of the business are intriguing: once, when the duo were travelling around the Yucatan Peninsula on an old Ford, they were caught in a storm and sought shelter in an abandoned building nearby which, they discovered later, used to be a large fabric producing factory in the late 60’s. They took this as a sign–they were destined to launch a new fashion label, using fabric produced in that very factory.

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They believed that their brand, Hacienda Montaecristo, should be deeply rooted in the economic and social fabric of Yucatan, just as the old Haciendas were, a place were people would gather, working together on common projects, in a collaborative way; where the young could learn from the elderly, and where artisanal skills and craftsmanship would be passed down through generations.

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There was only one problem: the loom to make the region’s most exquisite fabric, a delicately woven textile called Rebozo, was broken. So Francesca and Jacopo set about to fix it, and today they are the region’s key producers of Rebozo.

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They’ve incorporated the unique material into bags, shawls, and even shoes, but have also employed local artisans to apply their ancient skills to make organic cotton clothing, ethical jewellery and artisanal leather accessories. Good ethics are particularly important to Francesca, who now also co-owns the ecochic Coqui Coqui hotel chain and perfume brand.

Featured in prestigious publications including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and the New York Times, Hacienda Montaecristo has become a favourite with celebrities and fashionistas alike. With the revival of these handicraft techniques applied to the loose, eternally chic designs created by Francesca and Jacopo, Hacienda Montaecristo just gave us all something else to be passionate about in Mexico.

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    Mexico Meets Monaco: Hacienda Montaecristo & Club Monaco - Eluxe Magazine
    May 8, 2014 at 1:07 am

    […] also has her own accessories and fashion line, Hacienda Montecristo, which is sold at the hotel. Her all-natural, stylish collection has won admirers from Cara […]

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    メキシコに恋すべきもう一つの理由 ユカタン半島の伝統技術への愛をたっぷり込めた Hacienda Montaecristo | ethicalfashionjapan
    Dec 24, 2014 at 10:35 am

    […] 立ち上げた経緯も突然の恋のようにドラマティックだ。古いフォード車でユカタン半島を放浪していた2人は、いきなり大ぶりのスコールに見舞われた。そこで仕方なく、付近で見つけたまさしく見捨てられたような無人のビルに避難をした。後に2人は、そのビルが1960年代に稼働していた生地の生産工場であったことを知るのである。運命を感じた2人は、この廃墟と化した工場に再び息吹を吹き込み、ファッションを発信しようと思い立つのである。 「Hacienda Montaecristo」は、地域の独特な生地をバッグやショール、靴などに使用し、地域の人々の力を借りながら古き良き技術をオーガニックコットン製のアパレルアイテムやレザーアクセサリーに仕立てている。そんな同ブランドは、経済的にもそして生地のルーツとしても、ユカタン半島に深く根付いたものを目指しているという。さながら、アシエンダ(伝統的な大農園)がその土地に根付いていた頃のように。当時、アシエンダは多くの人々が集う場所で、共に働きながら若者は年長者から技術を受け継いでいた。アシエンダで、技術とクラフトマンシップが脈々と受け継がれていたのである。 商品も、地域に根ざしたものを作る同ブランドだが、問題が1つあった。その伝統的な技術の一つ、女性が巻くストール「Rebozo」の繊細な生地を縫う技術ががほとんど失われかけていのである。そこで奔走した2人は、現在はRebozo生産のキーパーソンでもある。 リラクシングながら上質な技術で洗練された印象を与える「Hacienda Montaecristo」のアイテムは、VOGUEやHarper’s Bazaar、the New York Timesなどでも取り上げられ、注目を集めている。蘇ったユカタン半島の美しい技術が光る同ブランドのアイテムは、メキシコに恋するもう一つの理由になるだろう。 Text&Images Via(許諾を得て掲載):Chere Di Boscio ‘VAMOS! LA HACIENDA MONTAECRISTO’ Eluxe Magazine, 2014/2/7 […]

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