Monday, August 6, 2012

Guatemala: The Wanderlust Project

A great friend of ours introduced us to an amazing project from Guatemala named "The Wanderlust Project". Wondering what Wanderlust means? Wanderlust is a strong desire to travel and to explore the world. If you like to travel with style and comfort you are going to like this project. Let us explain, Wanderlust creates customized footwear to accompany you on your most adventurous travel journeys. You can choose from different colors, patterns and textiles to create your own unique shoes, one that best suits your personality. What made us fall in love with this project was their wonderful handmade textiles made by indigenous people in Guatemala. Seriously they make the most amazing textiles with bright vivid colors and the most stunning patterns, you won't find these anywhere else, trust us!

"Make your shoes like you are, unique"
- The Wanderlust Project

We were lucky enough to get an interview with co-founder Renate Krings. She is an amazing person, she is only 22 years old and already she is making her dreams a reality, we want to thank her for participating in our blog, we wish her the very best! 
(contributor Monica A.)

1. Tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Whats your educational background?

I'm a 22 year old girl, who loves design, the magic behind handmade manufacturing, and a hunger art fan. I'am from Guatemala, the heart of Central America. Currently, I'am studying Product Design(here, we use the term "Industrial Design"), can't wait to graduate from college, only one year left and I'am free! I know there's a lot more to learn, don't get me wrong, but I'm super excited just contemplating the fact that I can finally focus 100% on my beloved project and baby: Wanderlust Wear! 

2. What motivated/inspired you to start the Wanderlust Project?

It was a combination of the people around me, a near encounter with the Tz'utujil women from San Juan La Laguna, getting to know them and appreciating the great value of their work, how they manufactured textiles in the traditional back-strap loom and that I simply wanted a pair of shoes made with Guatemalan fabrics. This last thing was what motivated me to search for all the tools that I needed to make this dream into something real, and the best part is that I found them in the hands of Guatemalan people. You know, having the privilege of sharing these experiences was a gift for me, it inspires me everyday. On the other hand, if you have the chance of making handmade shoes, why not make them limited edition also? I know a lot of people that are tiered of wearing the exact same clothing as everyone else, when the truth is you don't have to try and fit the options behind the shopfront, when they should try to fit you, your way, your style, your personality and your taste.

3. Who are some of your favorite designers?

I love the work of Jil Sander, speaking of contemporary design. I also admire the work of Mies Van der Rohe and Dieter Rams, geniuses! 

4. What are some of your favorite fashion websites, magazines or books?

I like Behance, Core 77 and The Cool Hunter, maybe they're not strictly fashion-esque but I get inspired a lot by navigating on these websites. I like reading a few made in Guatemala Magazines such as Revista Rara, Folk, Capiusa and Siete Mag. One of my favorite books is a little book from Taschen called "Design Handbook".

5. How would you define your personal style?

Dresses-depending on her mood kind of girl =). One day I wake up feeling all "peace and love" and use a headband and some flip flops, and other days I feel girly and I choose to wear a dress. the good thing is that I love a pair of shoes that match every mood, I'm a Wanderlust shopaholic myself.

6. What are your favorite patterns/prints to work with?

It's a tie between floral patterns and paisley patterns because of their vivid colors and of course the Guatemalan textiles, I love how they're manufactured, their smell and texture. I have to admit their kind of hypnotic. 

7. Where do you see Wanderlust five years from now?

I see Wanderlust in Europe in Asia, North and South America =). I see our shoes remaining the most loyal travel companions of their owners to quench their Wanderlust thirst. I'd love to expand our little workshop, providing a source of employment to excellent Guatemalan workers, it's already an honor to work with them. 

8. What's your favorite music band?

Radiohead, I love you Thom Yorke!

Check out our favorite textiles + our favorite models

Price Range: $30 USD - $50 USD

To order your pair add "The Wanderlust Project" on Facebook:

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