MABOUYA VINTAGE is my desperate attempt at trying to track documentation of my mother’s fashion design work from a few decades ago, and getting in touch with the few people still owning some of the garments.
For 3 generations, the women from our family know all how to make clothes, and my entire life I have felt completely left out, being the 4th generation. Following that family trend, in the late 1980’s Lissa sketched a lizzard wearing a watch, jokingly referencing the Lacoste logo and started the Haitian brand “Le Mabouya”. She primarily made a series of hand painted shirts, dresses, vests in her studio in the capital. Having grown up in her studio, that style of painting has largely influenced my own, when it comes to my love for the juxtaposition of geometric shapes and patterns.
At some point, circa 1990, She needed to travel to Europe and didn’t have a coat. That is when and why she made the first jacket. These obviously do not particularly target Haiti’s weather or environment, since they were originally made thinking about wintertime, which isn’t really a thing in the islands. Each jacket or shirt is unique and hand painted before being put together, making the sewing lines way cleaner and allowing each section of the jacket to stand out alone. She claims to have always thought it was boring, the fact that paintings were usually meant to be static — hung on a wall. These jackets were meant to be paintings which she enabled to travel, endlessly decontextualized and be altered depending on how the accessories worn with them.