Ariane Dutzi traded the glamorous life of a fashion editor in Paris and New York City, for the chance to begin an entrepreneurial venture in a small rustic town in Mexico. Why? She wanted to create change through design and make a positive difference in people’s lives.
Dutzi Design is a workshop in Valladolid, Mexico that empowers local women in the Yucatan Peninsula by providing them with job opportunities and helping them develop entrepreneurial skills. Committed to great design, high quality, and community service, Dutzi Design interweaves social responsibility and high fashion.
“There have been a number of challenges, but the biggest one would probably be the male-dominated culture here in Mexico,” says Ariane. “After I found my first women artisans, I soon realized that empowering women is not always very welcome in a machismo society.”
Ariane didn’t budge, however, and has been making bags and positive changes in the Mexican town for the past three years.
Handwoven by indigenous Mayan women, Dutzi bags represent a huge opportunity for these underprivileged women with limited education and income-earning options.
Ariane has set up the workshop to be extremely family-friendly and women-friendly with the goal to help women artisans earn money while allowing them to care for their families the same way they always have.
The designer hand-creates the color combinations and picks the vintage burlap herself, allowing each bag to be one-of-a-kind. The straps are hand-woven using an ancient technique, and the leather is air-dried, which creates a beautiful patina over time. Dutzi Design works with 90% recycled materials, including vintage burlap, recycled raffia, and tropical wood.
Featured in Vogue and sold in Europe, Mexico, Australia, and Japan, these luxurious Dutzi bags are a one-of-a-kind choice for looking good while doing good.