When fashion designer Claudia Toffano lived abroad for eight years, she realized her deep love of her home country Mexico, and her desire to work to preserve its cultural traditions. Upon more observation, she realized there was a gap in Mexican handmade bridal gowns. If Mexicans wanted to wear an artisan-made wedding dress, they'd have to look to places like Italy and France, despite Mexico's long history of artisan skills. With the launch of her bridal gown company, Mexicans and those who appreciate Mexican craft now have a Mexican artisan-made option.
But Claudia's bridal gowns are more than gowns. Her brand is rooted in an effort to restore indigenous traditions central to Mexican indigenous cultures. By using traditional Mexican embroidery techniques, her brand empowers indigenous artisans by communicating value for their skills and supporting them in finding a place in the modern design industry. Claudia's artisans partners like Cirila Camacho Acevedo say they feel proud and valued to know that people are choosing to wear something they made on such a significant and special occasion.
Claudia draws inspiration from natural surroundings and uses traditional techniques to bring those designs to life. The result is simple, timeless gowns that can be worn for a wedding and altered slightly to be worn for future events.
We obviously love the work Claudia is doing and the vision behind her brand. So, we've teamed up with Claudia for her fundraising efforts via Kickstarter.
In addition to receiving stunning handwoven and embroidered textiles, campaign donors can also receive a custom Claudia Toffano + Thread Caravan artisan adventure to Cuetzalan, Mexico.
Deep in the highlands in Puebla, the town of Cuetzalan feels like a magical place up in the cloudy mist and lush landscapes. For approximately $850 for one person or $1,500 for two people, you can spend the weekend of July 7-9 in the jungle getting to know the embroidery techniques of Mexico. This custom trip starts and ends in Mexico City and the cost includes transportation, lodging, a temescal (traditional sauna), coffee tour, jungle, waterfall and cave hikes, and of course a session getting to know the artisans behind Claudia's brand and trying some embroidery for yourself.