It's here where we dive into the passion behind this production. Mercedes reflects on her many years working with the indigenous people of Colombia, rendering their skills into scalable product: iraca palm weaving of Curití, crochet from the Wayúu community, straw weaving from Zenú artisans, werregue palm weaving of the Wounaan Nonam community.
Over lunch, I realize that Mercedes' lighthearted designs belie a deep reservoir of soulful connection to the people who craft them, their land, their future. She speaks modestly, thoughtfully. Although a celebrated designer with a global brand, she really wants only to replace herself with a light upon women whose own indigenous designs must come to center stage.
As I leave, Mercedes gifts me with three pairs of her knock-out earrings. Back home, I cannot walk one block with these party animals on my lobes and not encounter a stream of raves from total strangers. The Ibu team insisted we must offer them. And so, after months in the making, they are here—for the bold ones of you.
And what have I learned from my new friend? I've learned that whimsy, when crafted by an honest hand with the fibers of the earth, can become magic. That bumble bees and cat whiskers, however fey, may yet be the craft of change.
All my best,