Presenting úkata, Huarache Blog’s online store selling rare Huarache designs crafted by the most skilled artisans.
The name úkata means ‘craft’ in Purepecha an ancient language from Central Mexico where Huarache Blog began. Fittingly the indigenous Mexican Purepecha are considered the finest craftspeople in Mexico and are especially well known for their weaving abilities.
úkata hopes to offer readers around the world the opportunity to wear and experience the best Huaraches. Unique footwear where both leather and design are handcrafted, in some special cases by the same artisan. Timeless footwear design that has been made the same way by the Huarachero and his family for 2, 3 and sometimes 4 generations.
úkata aims to support Huaracheros by selling their Huaraches in periods of low sales and in limited quantities, so as not to disrupt any existing trade which they maintain with existing long term retail partners.
Talented Huaracheros who are being sidelined by the rise of branded factory footwear, increasing costs of leather and the declining prices of the local Huarache market. úkata will promote their craftsmanship to a global audience with the long term objective to help elevate the craft of Huaraches by selling only the finest examples. Increasing exposure and demand for high quality Huarache design to encourage highly skilled artisans continue refining their craft and grow their business, hiring employees and passing down their Huarache making knowledge to future generations.
A few weeks ago Huarache Blog published some Dolce & Gabbana photos of runway models wearing woven “Tejido” Huarache designs which were part of the 2013 Men’s Summer Collection.
It’s always interesting to see international brands using traditional Mexican Huarache inspiration in their footwear line.
Below is a first look at the Dolce & Gabbana Vesuvio Woven Crust and Leather Sandals which will be available this coming March 31st.
For more international brand Huarache inspiration check out my other posts titled :-
For the past 3 years Huarache Blog has been documenting and promoting the craft of Mexican Huarache footwear. This year I will also be developing a specialty e-trade business to offer more immediate support to the craft of Huaraches.
Introducing úkata, an online Huaracheria selling only the best Huaraches in Mexico. Rare designs crafted by the most talented Huaracheros. Timeless Huarache styles that have been made the same way by the artisan and his family for generations. Footwear with a low environmental impact, made with naturally processed and recycled materials.
Click back in February for a more detailed post on úkata and to visit the online store.
Durante los últimos 3 años Blog Huarache ha estado documentando y promoviendo la artesanía de los Huaraches Mexicanos. Este año voy iniciar un negocio de comercio internet para ofrecer un apoyo más inmediato a los Huaracheros y a la artesanía de los Huaraches Mexicanos.
Presentando úkata una Huaracheria en línea de los mejores Huaraches en México. Huaraches excepcionales hechos por los mejores Huaracheros.
Si algúno Huaracheros talentosos quieran vender sus huaraches en el internet, por favor pónganse en contacto con Huarache Blog escribiendo un comentario con sus correo eléctronico en la parte inferior de este artículo (Enter your comment here…).
Nestled into the Sierra Norte mountains of Oaxaca is the small town of Yalalag.
Yalalag is very precious World Heritage site, not only for it’s strong Pre-Hispanic traditions, but also because like only a handful of other small towns in Mexico, most of the Yalalag population is still dedicated to the traditional craft of Huarache making.
Huaracheria Aquino is the largest ‘Taller’ workshop in Yalalag and they are well known for their high quality Zapotec Huaraches.
What also sets this family run business apart from most other Huarache makers in Mexico is that their crafting process begins at their in-house tannery, where they vegetable tan all their leathers to their precise specifications.
Huaracheria Aquino is famous for their traditional women’s Zapotec Yalalag sandals (the only existing traditional women’s leather sandal/huarache style in Mexico).
Photo of young Zapotec Woman in Mitla, by Guy Stresser-Péan, 1957
Their ‘Tejido’ Huarache also stands out for the fine attention to detail.
And the ‘Cincho Forado’ Huarache is the finest of its kind.
Interestingly the seemingly modern thermoplastic coated “Oscaria” leather which is very popular in this area of Mexico has been used for over 40 years.
Inside the Aquino ‘Taller’ workshop hangs a framed picture of the Aquino Great-grandfather and founder of Huaracheria Aquino.
It’s not uncommon for Huaracheros to still use lasts that are over 80 years old. The wooden lasts are made of Mesquite not only because it was once the most readily available material with which to make lasts, but because the Mesquite does not expand very much from contact with the wet leather.
Most Huaracheros still prefer using wooden lasts to plastic because they say there is reduced bounce when ‘asentando’ (hammering to flatten the leather upper to the last) .
To contact Huaracheria Aquino directly please visit their Facebook page, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Japanese star brand VISVIM released their Areni Folk footwear design for Summer 2012. The Areni Folk design appears a nice refinement of a traditional Mexican footwear called Burras and is made using Italian vegetable tanned leathers, a cork footbed and a Vibram Gumlite sole (the Suede Folk version).
Burras also known as Teguas are traditional hand crafted Mexican work boots and like Huaraches are usually made using vegetable tanned leathers and used car tyre soles.
Hand crafted Burras can be bought at most Mexican city markets in the geographical area between Colima and Queretaro (Central Western Mexico). I noticed some for sale as far away as Merida, but few were sold in Central Eastern Mexico.
The quality and designs vary, they can be as clean as this design from the Municipal Market in Morelia, Michoacan,
to funky like these Burras from the main market in Leon, Guanajuato.
I also found some nice Burras also in Irapuato, Guanajuato.
And in La Piedad, Michoacan.
While Huaraches in Mexico are considered footwear for country laborers and most Mexicans seem disinterested in them, Internationally this year and last they have captured the imagination of many.
The ‘woven’ trend that began last year has encouraged International Fashion Houses and Footwear companies, both big and small, High Street and Luxury brands alike to design and introduce woven shoe designs for their 2011 Spring/Summer Collections. From Lanvin the oldest fashion house in the world to Sketchers the most commercial footwear brand, countless product teams and consumers around the world are today being inspired by Huaraches.
What amazes me is how a product like Huaraches can go from being the most basic item of footwear used in the fields, to treading the catwalks in Milan, thus the title “Huaraches; From Rural to Runway”.
To celebrate the current surge of Huarache inspired footwear I have collected images of some of the most popular Huarache inspired footwear from this 2011 Spring/Summer Season. Please note that Huarache blog does not sell any footwear.
You will notice in the following images how many designs are clear derivatives of Mexican Huaraches (many already posted on this blog), while others only borrow a few details. I hope this seasonal interest in Huaraches from International companies and consumers marks the beginning of a new positive chapter for the Huarache Craft and Industry in Mexico. I hope that any Huaracheros visiting this blog can be inspired as they don’t have the means to go on market research trips abroad as other footwear professionals.
By far my favorite woven and Huarache inspired design this season is Giuseppe Zanotti’s for Thakoon Woven Leather Edge Pumps. Notice how in true Huarache style the upper has been woven into the sole.
The Giuseppe Zanotti for Thakoon, Open Toe Leather Bootie.
Lanvin has also shown a good understanding this season of ethnic footwear styles and details. Where did the designers in France learn about the woven side lace that binds all the leather sandal strips as it is a very rare detail in traditional Huarache footwear. With so little published about Mexican Huaraches, if Lanvin footwear design has a book that includes Huaraches, Huarache Blog would be very interested in finding out about it or publishing new images of Huaraches from it.
Lanvin, Woven Wedge.
Lanvin, Cross Strap Sandal.
Givenchy has designed some elegant Huarache inspired woman’s sandals and boots.
Givenchy, Woven Strap Lattice Boots.
Givenchy, Woven Wedge Shoe.
Givenchy, Woven Lattice Boots.
Givenchy has also taken the concept of weaving leather a step further by weaving into the strips of the sandal to create a rich textured upper in 3 styles.
Givenchy, Woven Leather Heels Boots.
Givenchy, Woven Leather Kitten Heels.
Givenchy, Woven Gladiator Sandals.
Givenchy, Gladiator Leopard Flat Woven Sandals.
Ralph Lauren has also introduced a few Huarache designs including the ‘Pachuco’ style and many Huarache inspired woman’s sandals.
Ralph Lauren Collection, Blanca Harachi Woven Leather Sandal.
Ralph Lauren Collection, Maleena, Shelley and Abadan Sandals.
Ralph Lauren, Farima, Mark and Aviemore Sandals.
Ralph Lauren, Skylar.
I had never heard of Tory Burch, but her design team has skillfully designs a number of woven Huarache sandals for women. The design team also has a good understanding of ethnic footwear designs.
Tory Burch, Kelton.
Tory Burch, Tevray.
Tory Burch, Lottie.
Tory Burch, Anaya.
And the inspiring Tory Burch, Wrap Up Sandal.
Frye Boots from Long Island, USA has been making ‘Pachuco’ inspired sandals for quite a few seasons. Although not ‘True’ woven Huaraches as the leather is not woven into the sole, Frye Boots deserves recognition for being one of a very few international brands investing in Mexican traditions and skill by manufacturing these designs in Mexico.
The Woman’s Jacey.
And the Man’s version, Lawson.
A Huarache Slide, Jacey Slide and Zoe Woven Thong.
Delias also sells an original ‘Pachuco’ inspired sandal that uses multi-coloured strips to bring this traditional Huarche style to life. The Delias, Rebels Harem Sandal Below.
Please enjoy some of the best woven and possibly Huarache inspired designs for Spring/Summer 2011.
Dirty Laundry by Chinese Laundry, Charisma.
American Eagle, Regis Sling Huarache.
Blowfish, La Playa Huarache.
Lucky Brand, Kisa.
Michael by Michael Kors, Sol, Gianna, Huarache Slide and Huarache Sling.
Miss Sixty, Sara Woven Sandal.
Fossil, Harmony Wedge Huarache.
Lovely People, Hera.
B.Makowsky, Ane Woven Sandal.
UGG, Nayami Gladiator Sandals.
Diane Von Furstenberg, Kourion.
Diane Von Furstenberg, Tubular High Heels.
Michael Antonio, Spence.
Sigerson Morrison, Huarache Boots, Huarache Wedges and Huarache Sandals from 2007
Bottega Veneta, Woven Patent Leather Sandal and Woven Patent Leather Ankle Wrap.
Sergio Rossi, Dakota.
Boutique 9, Yashi Huarache Pumps.
N.Y.L.A, Woven Sandal.
Irregular Choice, Funk A Delico Wedge.
All Saints, Hestia Shoe.
Sam Edelman, Saville Woven Wedge.
Pour la Victoire, Woven Sandal.
Pour la Victoire, Maressa Flat Huarache Sandal.
Modern Vintage, Mirror Woven Sandal.
K Jaques, Jalama.
Steve Madden, Krosby.
Joie, All Over You Huarache.
Sketchers, Endless Wedge Huarache.
Last but not least Chubasco a San Diego Brand making Huaraches in Sahuayo, Maexico. The Huarache designs below are made with what is called ‘Jersey’ in Mexico, it is a polyester lace and makes the Huaraches very comfortable and colourful.