By Kestrel Jenkins
Merijam Roelofs of Folk Project
Merijam is the founder and designer behind Folk Project. After studying art history and anthropology of Oceania at L'Ecole du Louvre in Paris, Merijam pursued fashion design at L'Atelier Chardon-Savard where she excelled and graduated valedictorian.
During her scholarship, she found inspiration in the material culture of people still living in a traditional way, such as gypsies in Transylvania and individuals from northern Hungary. She also gained great interest in ancient textiles, like "boutis" from Provence, as well as recycled fabrics. All of the experiences spawned her idea for Folk Project.
The mission of the project is to travel the world looking for unique textiles and turn them into bespoke decorative pieces, such as furniture, handbags and accessories. Folk Project uses a raw material known as the Huipil, which is an essential piece of the Guatemalan and Mexican traditional costumes. Every Huipil is bought at a fair price from the artists in order to promote the survival of their traditions.
Through Folk Project's creations, Merijam aims to highlight the creative work of the indigenous woman who often remains invisible to modern society. By using huipil in the world of modern living, she hopes to showcase their craft on a global platform and give them the acknowledgement they deserve.
Folk Project is all about introducing a piece of the traditional world to the modern one, in turn creating a refreshing design unique to the global living style.
Feather Hat (vintage, purchased at an antique market in France)
Collar (by Folk Project, made of fabric remnants)
Purse (by Folk Project, made using huipil)
About The Author
Kestrel is a globetrotter with small-town Wisconsin spirit. She has lived in Chile, London, Madrid & New York, soaking up and absorbing every moment of fashion and difference along the way. She has worked with People Tree, Global Action Through Fashion, The GreenShows, FashionMeGreen, Fashioning Change, Ecouterre, Inhabitat & EcoSalon. She loves words & garments, and reorganizing them both. For Kestrel, fashion is her favorite way to share stories. Her most recent endeavor, AWEAR, is a style-driven project intended to help inspire us to think about where our clothes are made, what they are made of, and who makes them.