Friday, April 9, 2021

Meet our Designer,
Fernanda Jung

At Mercado Global, we have a multi-talented team from different cultures, who are all committed to working together towards the same mission —empowering Indigenous women. In our new blog series, we'll be introducing you to and celebrating our staff. First up is Fernanda, our incredible Designer, whose passion for sustainability and drive to change the world of fashion, leads our creative direction.

Where are you from?

I’m from the south of Brazil, an amazing city called Porto Alegre. I grew up surrounded by people from all different cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. My parents made sure I was engaged in different activities from ballet, to gymnastics, camping trips, hikes, and lots of day trips to the highlands where I am from. Porto Alegre is like any other big city, lots of concrete, shopping malls and traffic! On the flip side, there are amazing and interesting people doing exciting social and environmental projects. The city vibrates collaboration and there’s talk of sustainable development everywhere you go. I love it!

What made you want to become designer?

Originally, I thought I’d become a marine biologist but decided otherwise at the thought of dissecting animals. So instead I studied the closest thing to it, Fashion Design Technology! Jokes aside, I’ve always had a huge passion for creating which probably has something to do with the fact that the women from both sides of my family know how to craft with their hands! I grew up among yarn and needles and all kinds of textiles in my grandma’s, aunt’s, and mother’s houses, so this was the natural path for me!

What do you enjoy most about working at Mercado Global?

I’d have to say it’s the variety of people and cultures working in our Guatemala office. On a daily basis, we are around people from different backgrounds and countries, overcoming language barriers to work and design incredible products together, all with the same goal and passion to improve the lives of women here in Guatemala. It’s an incredible way of living and I would not have it any other way!

What inspired you to create the El Paredón collection?

One day, I was looking through some of our old files and I found a quote from one of our partner artisans, Lorena: “After working hard to become one of the lead sample makers, I now feel a sense of belonging and support that I had always dreamt of finding for myself.

I wanted this collection to embody the sense of freedom and belonging that Lorena found working at Mercado Global and El Paredón in Guatemala instantly came to mind. It’s one of the most beautiful and free-feeling places here. For me, there’s nothing like sitting at the beach, listening to a friend play their guitar, eating watermelon together and watching the sunset. That is my greatest sense of belonging. And in terms of freedom, waking up to an early morning breeze from the Pacific Ocean, just as the rest of nature is waking up, you feel like the world is yours.

What was it like designing a collection during Covid?

We had just gone through a restructuring and as the only designer, it was terrifying to design my first collection from home! But it was a great experience that proved that on top of all the usual challenges that comes with designing a collection, plus the restrictions the pandemic caused, as a team we came together virtually and made it work.

What are your pieces favourite in the collection and why?

I’m a lover of every piece that screams ‘I was handmade!’, where you clearly see the effort and work that’s gone in to make the item. That’s why my favourite pieces are the Hermelinda Macramé Bag and the Cruza Sling in El Paredón Jaspe, both silhouettes I designed whilst working remotely, collaborating with our Head of Pattern Making, Marta Julia. Aside from the beauty of the products, they make me feel very sentimental and remind me of the incredible process it was working with Marta! My favorite mask is the Protective Face Mask for Migrants, as I love the pop of color it brings to an outfit!

Fern's Favorite Bags

Hermelinda Macramé Bag
Hermelinda Macramé Bag
Hermelinda Macramé Bag
Hermelinda Macramé Bag
Hermelinda Macramé Bag

Hermelinda Macramé Bag

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