Inside the Label: Santa Lupita

Life is better in a kaftan. If you are wearing one it means you are somewhere warm, probably by the beach enjoying the sunshine. Nothing beats standing out in a unique one, hand crafted in Mexico using century old traditions. We can't get enough of delicately embroidered kaftans and blouses from Santa Lupita - love stitches from Mexico. We sat down with the brand's founder Jorge to find out about the label. 

How did you start Santa Lupita? 

Although I started working in a different field, fashion has been always a passion for me. Furthermore, I am a big fan of Mexican handcrafts, especially of hand woven and hand stitched items. I always wanted to have a professional connection with my homeland. Santa Lupita was the chance to combine all these different interests and an opportunity to support local artisans in Mexico and give them a motivation to continue with their rich cultural heritage.

How would you describe the brand?

Santa Lupita is fashion for liberal, modern, open-minded cosmopolitan fashionistas looking for a special outfit, a unique piece with a story behind, a piece of art to wear. Santa Lupita is colour and unusual cuts; a dress or shirt of Santa Lupita is something only you belong, it is a fashion statement of customers who want to be an eyecatcher… with style of course. Santa Lupita is a brand with familiar values, a label for parents and kids, a label to share within the family. Santa Lupita is an effort to boost customers appreciation for hand made clothing, it is a call for responsible customers to stay away from mass production and consume with responsibility.

What is your favourite product in the Santa Lupita line?

I love every single piece of our collection. Every single dress or shirt has been manufactured by one single lady in her house, while her kids are at school, playing or sleeping. I have chosen every single piece and thus I feel a strong connection with all items. More than with styles, I felt in love with the stories behind them and that´s what most matters to me. If I will be forced to pick one, I will chose the Huipil top Magdalena, since this was the very first style I started this adventure with.

How does Mexico inspire you?

Mexico is where I was born and I grew up. Although I have been travelling all my live and have spent time at many places, Mexico is the country which has most influenced the person I am today. I love colours because I grew up surrounded by them. I love variety because I grew up in a huge country with many different ethnic groups that have enriched daily life, from food through music to clothing. Mexico offers such a cultural richness that it is hard for Mexicans not to try something new constantly. That´s why we are so curious and thus why we like to start new adventures every once in a while. Santa Lupita is once again a reaction to all those necessities I developed throughout the years.

Tell us about a great little place you know in Mexico?

Mhhhhh, very difficult question. Tulum, Holbox, Oaxaca? There are so many beautiful places but there is a very special one called Cuetzalan. Not many tourists reach this place and I wonder why, because it is beautiful. Cuetzalan is a tiny village at the edge of the Eastern Highlands in Puebla State. High on the mountains, you can see through the Gulf Basin and on clear days you can even spot the Gulf of Mexico in the horizon. Cuetzalan is very traditional, with small stone cobbled streets and a very lively street live. Everybody wares the traditional outfit. On Sundays, there´s a communal market. All inhabitants from the surroundings come to sell their products. Cuetzalan then turns into a multicolour market.

What is your favourite shop, or market in Mexico?

The Saturday market of San Juan Chamula in the Southern State of Chiapas is something everybody should experience at least once. It is an indigenous market that seems to have been kept in time.

Where in the world have you felt happiest? / ‘I lost my heart in…’

Wow, difficult question. I travel quiet a lot and have felt lucky many times. I felt in love with a crowded and lively Ipanema Beach on Sunday but also with a completely empty beach at Bazaruto Island in Mozambique. I love Tokyo more than any other city in the world but think Sydney is the best place to live although I still dream of Cape Town´s City landscape. I felt lucky after reaching the Everest Base Camp after 10 days walking in Nepal or sleeping at Chin communities in Burma. I felt also lucky and proud of myself after bungee-jumping in the Victoria Falls between Zimbabwe and Zambia. I love Peruvian food and Brazilian music. Mexicans friendliness and generosity are endless. I think it depends on what you are looking for.

What do you pack first?

My camera, my passport and a credit card. That´s all you need to survive!

What is your favourite hotel where you could stay forever?

I love the Hotel Escondido north of Puerto Escondido in Mexico. Only 16 bungalows and an endless lonely beach.

What is your most treasured find from your travels?

Most of the time, I travel with a backpack. I never buy souvenirs since I don´t like to carry them all the time.  I guess the pictures I shoot are the most valuable treasure I kept from each trip.

What’s in the pipeline for Santa Lupita?

Well, we are at the very beginning and still have a long way ahead of us. I definitely want to build up a sustainable business and expand to new markets outside of Europe too. I want to find more ladies who would like to join us in order to offer more products. We have launched our men line San Lupe and I will push it in the next months. And one of our very big wishes is introducing a home ware line. One step after the other, still lots of things to do….

Article written by Gundula Cöllen