Gather round the fire, grab a mug of hot cocoa on the way. It’s story time, kids.
For centuries in Oaxaca, the Mixteco-Zapotecas Indian tribe has crafted wool serapes. A serape, traditionally draped over shoulders and worn like a cloak, is a soft rectangular blanket stitched with geometric patterns. Serapes are as cozy as their patterns are eye-catching: they protect against cool nights. They are a tangible piece of old-world tradition, which makes sense, because the southern Mexican state is known for their rich history.
Old-world tradition is something we happen to know a lot about. After all, we use Opanka handcrafted construction for most of our shoes, which is a direct lift from an old-world shoemaking tradition. By stitching the leather upper, insole and bottom together in one step, we eliminate overusing man-made materials. The result is a more flexible and lightweight shoe. Read more about the process here.
In short, we value craftsmanship, so it makes sense that we found inspiration in the tradition of the Mixteco-Zapoceca tribe.
We worked with the Mixteco-Zapotecas to create a pattern for PANAREA, a beautiful fall boot. The unique design you see on the PANAREA uses the tribe’s traditional shapes and color combinations, but was created specifically for this shoe.
Serapes are crafted manually using a loom made and developed by the tribe. It takes about one week to make a serape, and each serape was used to make twenty-four pairs of boots. The amount of care that went into each serape is immeasurable.
We care about these designers as much as we care about comfort. Not only does this partnership leave us with a beautiful boot, but it also allowed the tribe a better income and work under high quality conditions. It was an honor to work with such a dedicated and dexterous group.