It’s no secret that ethnic bags, tourists’ favourite accessory, are an obvious trend right now. Ethnic patterns have always been ‘handled with care’ in fashion. But today, they are a style statement women from all of the world want to convey, thanks to designers that are uniting handmade embroided with luxury couture. SCALO 502 is a good example of this.
Founded in 2015 by Raquel Valladares Urruela, SCALO 502 joins the word “scalo”, Italian for “layover” with 502, the country code of Guatemala. Combining different cultures to enhance the result of each piece, each SCALO 502 bag brings together premium Italian leather with vintage Mayan textiles previously worn as huipil (blouse) or corte (skirt) by Mayan women.
The remote villages in Guatemala where the textiles are carefully sourced are the core of the brand. They’re not only beautiful patterns but also hold deep personal stories behind them. The textiles are decorated with geometric figures, animals, flowers and icons that stand for concepts that have their roots in the ancient Mayan worldview. For them, wearing the traditional traje implies an act of everyday resistance and self-determination of their culture.
But the symbols are not only in the end product patterns. As they explain, “most of the textiles from the SCALO 502 collection are woven using a backstrap loom. The pole or tree to which the loom is attached is thought to be an aspect of the World Tree, a central figure in the creation of the world according to Maya World view. The World Tree is represented as a colossal tree which supports the heavens, thereby connecting the heavens, the terrestrial world, and, through its roots, the underworld.”
The weaver’s body moves forward and backward, to tighten and loosen the tension, becoming one with the loom and the fabric. This is why these textiles, the huipil, are so special to the Mayan people, “their bodies are physically and intimately engaged in ever moment of its creation.
Plus…check out the cool names of the bags! 😉