Hood River, OR - February 24, 2017
In a renovated barn in rural Oregon, Adele Hammond is busy creating beauty and opportunity. Her company, Abrazo Style, is a social enterprise that blends timeless craft traditions of Mexico with American entrepreneurship. Working together with over a hundred mostly women artisans, Adele and her team bring fair trade, Mexico-inspired, contemporary fashion to the US and beyond.
Six years ago, Adele was an artist living with her family in Oaxaca. By chance she met Martha, a young woman struggling to make ends meet. To help her, Adele showed Martha how to modify locally made traditional blouses to fit the shapes and tastes of American women. She then took those blouses to the United States where they were snapped up in trunk shows. Following that success, Abrazo Style was born.
Today, Abrazo works across borders in Oregon and Mexico to design and create clothing and accessories for women that showcase traditional handwork with American styling. Abrazo Style products are crafted in the homes of artisans in communities of Oaxaca and Chiapas. There, the bold embroidered flowers of Frida Kahlo's Mexico are translated into subtle hues, and boxy huipil blouses are re-styled to flatter Western sizes. Traditional Zapotec designs are still woven on wooden treadle looms, but the weavers now use finer cottons and softer colors to create airy wraps for a more global customer.
Adele is deeply passionate about her company: "There are lots of challenges to a business like this but it’s the commitment, determination, talent and good humor of the people we work with that continue to inspire me. They are proud to know their work is admired in boutiques around the world.”
About Abrazo Style
Launched in 2011, Abrazo Style embraces the rich artistic traditions of Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico providing contemporary handcrafted apparel and accessories for women. Abrazo Style specializes in fairly traded embroidered apparel, woven scarves, wraps and totes, and natural seed and stone jewelry. Abrazo is committed to positive change in indigenous communities through sustainable employment at fair wages.