Ambos Designs works with artisans around the world to create beautiful, unique and socially conscious apparel. The word Ambos, meaning “both” in Spanish, was chosen by founders Stephanie Wencl and Erica Lunn to describe the fusion of two cultures. They continually strive to achieve an elegant balance of tradition and style in each piece of distinctive clothing.
With a love for travel and fashion, their fascination with the Mayan culture in Guatemala inspired their partnership. From the start they have been committed to their dream of collaborating with individual artisans to create one-of-a-kind designs. These values were combined with the vibrant, hand woven textiles to carry Mayan culture into the rest of the world.
The De Gala Dress is one example of the blending of cultures. The “huipils,” or traditional shirts worn by Mayan women, are representative of their hometowns through distinctive colors and embroidered designs. Recycled pieces of these hand-embroidered huipils are placed in the center of each dress. Each jersey halter dress is entirely unique, modern in style and comfortable to wear.
Ambos Designs takes great care in selecting the artisans they work with to ensure the highest quality products. They collaborate with each of them to create modern designs that illuminate Mayan heritage. One example is the naturally dyed “Lema” scarves that are made by an association of women from San Juan la Laguna near Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The women use plants and other natural ingredients to dye fabric then they knot each tassel by hand. This particular product provides a source of income for women in the town, who otherwise have very few work opportunities. The Lema association is environmentally aware and strives to preserve Mayan traditions such as weaving and the use of natural resources.
As their collaborative relationships develop, Lunn and Wencl travel frequently to Central American to design and import clothing and accessories. Naturally dyed scarves, hand woven fabrics, casted bronze belts and jade jewelry are just a few of the products Ambos Designs is bringing to the states. They aim to provide consumers with unique, affordable and socially conscious products. It is important to the founders to remain true to the significance and origin of each product and to provide fair wages for their artisans every step of the way.
Ambos Designs will continue to dedicate themselves to delivering beautiful products and sustaining traditional skills. Exploring the unique cultures around the world, collaborating with local artists, and introducing their own style is what this company aims to do.