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Paris designer joins Maya crafters to produce high-end bag

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Christian Louboutin, a Paris designer, worked directly with Mayan artisans on a new $1,490 tote bag. Photo: Christian Louboutin

His biggest fame is red soles and impossible heels, but Christian Louboutin also has an empire in accessories.

For his latest tote bag, the designer traveled to the Yucatán Peninsula to join with regional artisans at Taller Maya, a foundation that works to preserve the tradition of local crafts.

As a result of the collaboration, the Mexicaba collection was born.

The Mexicaba tote bag is featured on a Paris designer’s home page.

The brightly-colored cotton weave tote sells for $1,490 USD, 10 percent of which will directly benefit the artisans of the Maya Workshop. The bag follows last year’s Africaba line, made by women of Dakar.

“I’ve always had a global outlook. Working with the most wonderful artisans from all over the world is completely natural for me,” says Louboutin

The tote features panels of vivid handwoven cotton and embroidery with traditional hand-painted beads.

Christian Louboutin’s latest tote bag is a collaboration with Taller Maya.

“Mexicaba is a truly bespoke carry-all,” according to the sales copy.

Taller Maya artisans, predominantly but not exclusively women, gather in small groups in far-flung villages or in larger collectives. Some have inherited traditional skills, while others learn from their grandmothers and their great grandmothers.

More than 200 artisans from different communities within the Yucatán Peninsula form Taller Maya and are fairly paid for their skilled handwork, according to Louboutin’s website.

Paris designer Christian Louboutin makes it clear he worked directly with Mayan communities in developing a high-end Mexican-themed tote. Photo: Christian Louboutin

“This has definitely been one of the most important and challenging projects we have been working on as a group since Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya started, in 2002,” said foundation director Carola Diez.

“We knew, in advance, that accepting this challenge would require fulltime dedication from the whole FHMM team to support the artisans of the communities involved, to ensure that not only would they comply with the established time frame, but also deliver the quality product that Christian Louboutin expected,” she said. “We truly felt honored to work with such great people.”

Inside the bag is a lining depicting bouncing sugar skulls, a reference to Dia de los Muertos.

“I love the lining of the new bag. The Day of the Dead motifs turned into happy ghosts, keeping an eye on your stuff,” said Louboutin.

For anyone with a $1,490 tote bag budget, it goes on sale in June.

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