Must-See Shops in Mexico City
Within Mexico’s Distrito Federal, or D.F., is a cluster of design-minded stores that strike an aesthetically delightful balance between chic and authentic. Recently, fashion, textile, and interior designers have begun to congregate in the Condesa, Polanco, and Roma neighborhoods, along with a few boutiques in the historic center. These fashionable, leafy enclaves, or colonias, as locals call them, feel relatively quiet in a frenetic, sprawling city that’s otherwise a mash-up of high and low, ancient and modern.
The Goods: Housewares
After arriving in D.F. nearly two decades ago to work at an art gallery, Maggie Galton immersed herself in traditional Mexican handicrafts, eventually opening Onora in posh Polanco to showcase everything from bedding to pottery to woolen throws. Galton’s textiles and decor pieces feel contemporary, yet still have a sense of place, thanks to regional details. “Whether it’s brocade work from Chiapas, embroidery from Veracruz, or beadwork from Nayarit, we’re always working with the iconography of the community,” she says.
She’ll open her second shop in the neighborhood this summer, with volcanic rock floors and whitewashed walls to lend a gallery feel. “We want these pieces to be beautiful and singular, but at the same time something you can incorporate into your daily life, from a black pottery sugar bowl to brocade pillows.” Galton plans to feature other high-quality tabletop pieces and edibles too, including enamel pots from Guanajuato and Mexican chocolate by La Casa Tropical.
The Goods: Women’s Fashion
Opposite a quiet park in the trendy Condesa neighborhood, veteran designer Carmen Rion’s boutique sells handwoven dresses and blouses in bright coral reds, lime greens, and cobalt blues. At the core of Rion’s architectural pieces: a single panel of embroidery, usually across the shoulders or hem, combined with modern draping or a bold silhouette. Also look for flat leather sandals, silver jewelry, and Rion’s upcoming collection of black-and-white prints.
Long devoted to ethical fashion, her work with the Zinacantán women in Chiapas led to a regional design exhibition at Mexico City’s Franz Mayer Museum, which this summer travels to London’s Fashion and Textile Museum and Pangea, a gallery-cum-boutique in Marseille.
The Goods: Rugs
Working with expert weavers from Oaxaca’s Zapotec community, Marisol Centeno produces high-quality, handmade rugs for interior design firms, architects, and design-minded city dwellers. “It’s important to me that people know the story of these products,” Centeno says. “These artisans are not just weaving; it’s a really collaborative process.”
The modern rugs, all of which have geometric patterns, are made with natural pigments extracted from herbs and flowers such as indigo and marigold, and typically take four weeks to produce. “If you buy a good rug, you are going to use it your whole life,” she says.