ABURY meets designer Mayta Lara Leal

Mayta Lara Leal is the face behind the ABURY Free People Collection. Determined to fuse elegance and functionality for urban spirited people on the one hand and curious to explore the mystical corners of Morocco on the other hand, Mayta brought ABURY’s third handmade collection into being, which was developed under fair trade production.

She is originally from Brazil, where she first completed her Bachelor of Fashion Design at State University of Santa Catarina – UDESC (2009). Mayta Lara Leal then interned as a costume designer for theatre, opera and ballet in 2007. As entrepreneur, she launched her own accessories label Catarina.art (2006 to 2009). She worked as a teacher at the International Institute of Fashion Design Chio Lecca in Lima – Peru (2010) and later worked at ATTO knitting manufactory as Coordinator of Products in Sao Paulo – Brazil (2011 to 2012). In 2013 Mayta finished a M.A. in Sustainability in Fashion at ESMOD – Berlin, before the project showcased for the Green Showroom Berlin 2014. All in all, her goal is to create awareness of social and environmental responsibility through fashion.

We spoke to Mayta Lara Leal about her collection and inspirations in 5 minutes:

ABURY ADEx Designer Mayta Lara Leal in Morocco desert with camel

Mayta Lara Leal, what does it mean to you to be a selected designer at ABURY?

It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to have this experience. It means working with artisans in a different country and designing great products that are beneficial to this and future generations. At the same time they promote fair trade production. ABURY brings together designers and old traditional art crafts, bringing in a bit of modernity to this unique culture, giving value and a new way to look at handmade items. I couldn’t be happier to be part of such a project and learning with the exchange provided, which is most likely that you will not find in other labels.

Tell us about how it was to work with the communities?

My experience in Morocco was amazing. There were intense months with ups and downs! Working non-stop: designing, learning about Morocco and the local handcraft culture, looking into the materials and processes, talking and working with the artisans. I had plenty of difficulties with the language, cultural and social differences. Putting me in interesting and funny situations at times. Staying with the communities made me view beyond the markets and museums. I got to experience the everyday life, taking a look into their lifestyle and what craft traditions mean to them.

ABURY ADEx winner Mayta Lara Leal sitting in Berber tent
What inspired you to design your collection?

Life! Looking with curious eyes will fascinate with every little aspect of life. Children are a lot like this. It is easier to be inspired in a place like Morocco!

Moroccan man carrying fruit on bicycle in Marrakech

Morocco has many stories, incredible people and ancient history. Because of this I found myself immersed in colours, smells, art, crafts, music and dance; all of which contributes to the whole story peppered with symbolism. Each moment in Morocco, the good and challenging ones, contributed to immense inner growth. I wish to be able to express this growth throughout my design and everyday life.

Moroccan houses on a hill in between plants and cacti

© All photos via Mayta Lara Leal

Lara Petersen

Lara Petersen

After her studies abroad and exploring the world for many years, Lara returned to Berlin in 2015 and ever since combines her passions cultures, communication and writing by working as part of the ABURY family. Lara is the editor-in-chief and admin of the One of a Mind blogzine by ABURY.

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