PHOTOGRAPHY BY JANELLE JONES
Traditional horsemen, known as charros, and the rodeo-like national sport of charrería have flourished in the central states of Mexico since shortly after the conquistadors arrived in the 16th century. While this historic subculture has long been a masculine one, it inspired three sisters from Guadalajara—Andrea, Paula, and Magdalena de la Torre Suárez—to create something more feminine: a line of wooden handbags, which they named Aurelia Parrondo to honor their Spanish-born great-grandmother.
“Alluding to the bygone era of our great-grandmother, when slow fashion was a way of life, each bag is designed like a work of art,” says product designer Andrea de la Torre Suárez, who came up with the concept two years ago, while working as a curator at Mexico City’s Casa Luis Barragán, the former studio of the famed architect. (She enlisted the museum’s in-house carpenter to create the prototype.) “It can be worn like a shoulder tote or a fanny pack, or it can sit in your home like a sculpture.”
The hinged boxes are constructed from naturally tinted, reforested woods—dark chocolate walnut, pistachio-hued poplar—and can be paired with detachable cotton and leather straps made by artisans who design chaps, saddles, and reins for charros.
Aurelia Parrondo products can be found at several Mexico City locations, including the brand’s appointment-only La Condesa atelier and the Polanco design shops The Feathered and Lago, as well as at the Live Aqua Urban Resort in San Miguel de Allende.
Boxes from $370, straps from $88, aureliamexico.com