The Localist

Mexican Design Furia

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In the last couple of years, local independent artists and designers have been sprouting up all over Mexico City. Their work covers everything from clothing, shoes and jewelry through to product design, food, and drinks including beer and mezcal. Their offerings are high quality and not too expensive, making them ideal for the young generations of Mexicans looking for beautiful, local, one-of-a-kind products.

With the emergence of these designers arose a need for more accessible platforms where they could showcase and sell their work, and a new concept of market was born.  Although the market concept is definitely not new in Mexico – mercados have been a vital part of Mexican commerce since long before colonization – these new design markets offer customers a whole new experience, complete with shopping, eating, drinking and partying. Young people in Mexico have made visiting the markets a social event, and now there is at least one market every weekend. They usually take place in big, beautiful, open spaces, and are a great option if you are looking for something special to buy or simply to have a drink or a bite.

These are a few of the most well–known design markets in Mexico City:

La Lonja Mercantil: http://lonjamercantil.com/

La Lonja Mercantil was one of the first markets and one of the few that still changes venues every time it’s held. The market always takes place in very cool sites, such as Estación Indianilla (an old building which once was a tram repair workshop and had been abandoned for ages before becoming a cultural centre in 2006) or La Universidad de la Comunicación (a specialized university which has its facilities in an old house in Colonia Roma). It’s held around once a month and a band or DJ usually plays after the designers leave, transforming the market into a party at night.

Bazar Fusión: http://www.proyectofusion.com.mx/wp/

Bazar Fusión claims to be the first designer market in Mexico, and after many years of being itinerant it has settled in an enormous, beautiful old house in the downtown neighborhood Colonia Juarez. This market has more than 20 permanent stores, guest designers, chefs, musicians and sometimes even stylists.

Corredor Cultural Roma-Condesa: www.ccromacondesa.mx/

Corredor Cultural Roma-Condesa is not a market per se, but an event held twice a year in the neighborhoods of Roma–Condesa that was born out of a goal of recovering public spaces through art and culture. During the days the Corredor is held, all the local galleries, stores and restaurants have events, workshops, and special offers and the streets are packed with people. The reach of this event has expanded to other audiences including El Corredor Infantil which offers children a wide range of activities centered on art, design, culture and sustainability.

Visiting these markets is definitely worthwhile. They will give you the opportunity to get to know places that aren’t on the usual tourist route and see another face of modern Mexican culture.

Local tips:

While at the markets try the drink Mezcal Unión, either straight or mixed with lemonade or agua de Jamaica, my personal choice.

If you are looking for jewelry try PAAR and Eire, two of my favourite designers in the city.

MEET THE LOCAL: MARÍA JOSÉ CÉSPEDES 

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