Original article taken from GRACIA.paris
We make this portrait of Mercedes Salazar in her ‘Pop-Up’ store in Paris during Fashion Week. A perfect opportunity for Mercedes to bring a bit of the tropics to the French capital.
For those who are not familiar with her work, these are some words that will serve as an introduction. For almost 20 years, Mercedes built her creative and artisan brand of jewelry and accessories, based in Bogotá, capital of Colombia. Mercedes Salazar designs and manufacture her pieces through her fundamental principle of conservation of craft techniques.
There are no limits to her beautiful exotic creations, her inspiration come from everything and nothing, from what is present in her daily life. This year she was part of the Colombian brands selected by Colette during the exhibition organized by Esteban Cortázar.
Artisanship as art
the journey as an infinite discovery,
spirituality as a path.
Colombia as the beginning.
A ritual in your atelier?
I have to drink at least three coffees every morning!
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo: to manifest the pure and fundamental energy of life, reverencing the dignity and possibilities of our life in common.
What inspires you?
The smallest flowers I found when I walk through the city, the fact they can grow in the middle of a city made of concrete for me is a source of inspiration.
Does your inspiration change with the stations?
My inspiration flows like my life, what interest me at some point and what I believe in a particular moment changes as I grow older. I believe that every human experience is an evolution.
I travel a lot, I consider it as a great source of inspiration, even the small trips I do in Colombia, where I can see the ancient architecture and crafts of different regions. Also movies, books and people inspired me.
What was your dream when you were a girl?
I think I wanted to be an artist.
Your next journey?
My next trip will be to New York in a few weeks with my kids. But I would really like to go back to Vietnam and Japan.
In your eyes, what is the most precious piece of this collection?
A colombian brand that you like?
I love Papel de Punto, they create excellent graphic knits ... I also love the creations of Miguel Mesa.
A good recommendation in Bogotá?
Just one? I have many ... I would recommend going to see La Chorrera waterfall. Have breakfast at the Paloquemao market, the best colombian dishes are there. Of course, Andrés Carne de Res in Chía, the favorite of all time. El Enano, the bar of the Bandido restaurant. I love it!
It changes a lot, it really depends on my mood.
And the French style?
I really don’t think the French girl still has a unique style. I think that the world of fashion is rewritten, I think that there is no longer the style of the French girl, the style of the British girl or the style of the Colombian girl. Today the access to information creates much more eclectic ways of dressing.
What do you think about the contribution of your brand to Colombia?
I think our brand is very colombian and we show the best of my country: crafts, colors, birds, flowers, nature. I think we are expressing the roots of Colombia in the work we are doing every day.
What stereotype of Colombia annoys you?
I think people always thinks that Colombian girls are very voluptuous, that they adore very bright gold jewelry and of course, all the comments about drugs and drug dealers. There’s nothing more frustrating and annoying that meeting someone who thinks he knows Colombia just because he saw the Narcos series...
Handmade with love in Colombia