On the Town - Cancun
Hecho En Mexico
Cancun's top designers are making strides in the world of fashion.
BY DAVID GARCÍA ZAMORA
Simoneta Morales was no ordinary 13-year-old. Instead of wearing store-bought clothes like her classmates, she sketched her own dresses and supervised a seamstress to produce exactly what she wanted. "My family was very art-oriented so they indulged me," says the now-23-year-old designer, who recently opened the boutique Simona & Cirilo.
A relative newcomer to the city's fashion scene, the Cancun native has already garnered a lot of attention across Mexico. "I hope to create a Mexican brand that can have international success," she says.
Unlike cities such as Paris, Milan and New York, Cancun is not an international fashion capital. Yet talents like Morales and veteran designers Erica Flores and David Salomón are trying to prove otherwise. Flores, who opened her Cancun boutique 15 years ago, has earned attention for her simple and elegant bridal gowns and has a ready-to-wear resort line available at national and international beach-area hotel chains. Salomón's colorful designs have appeared on the pages of InStyle and he is included in the book Moda de Mexico as one of the 100 most influential people in Mexican fashion.
While each of these designers has a distinct vision, they all create clothes that reflect Cancun's relaxed, beach environment. Salomón's designs - which he calls "hippie chic" - are unembellished. "I like flowing fabrics and simple, relaxed concepts," he says. "People who like my designs always have an affinity with the Yucatan Peninsula, whether it's the climate, the colors or the relaxed atmosphere - aspects that are incompatible with the rigidity of a larger city."
Flores' designs are equally beach-y, yet bolder and experimental. "I'm always combining different patterns, fabrics and natural materials, incorporating fretwork, weaving or some other detail," says Flores, who is inspired by everything from paintings to the Caribbean's weather.
As for Morales, her vintage-inspired style is romantic and classic. "I add an alternative touch," she says. Morales understands that people don't always like to dress like everyone else, which is why her collections - released every three months - include just 40 designs, each of which only has six reproductions. "You can wear the clothes and be guaranteed that there are only six of the same shirts out there," she says. "That level of exclusivity is rarely seen in American brands."
Like Morales, who matured from a talented teenager with a vision to a flourishing designer, Cancun is quickly developing into what could one day be a major player in international fashion.
Each of these designers owns a store in Cancun, so don't leave town without a new outfit.
SIMONA & CIRILO
Plaza Nichupté Local No. 24
Av. Bonampak 107, SM 3
Antílope 30, SM 20, M 12