Margarita Mermaid is a fantasy inspired swim line created by Margarita Calderon.
I grew up in a developing Cancun, Mexico which was truly a paradise on Earth. My memories as a kid go back to being barefoot, birthday parties in the ocean and riding ferries to small islands on weekends. I remember being a dreamy sensitive kid that loved dolls and sports. As I grew up I became more blocked creatively by the typical things one goes through in society. At 19 I didn’t really see myself as being able to be a visual designer or artist of any kind, though in my heart this is what I wanted.
Through a blessed impulse I decided to move to San Francisco to go to school for Fashion Design at FIDM, even though I had never had that much interest or experience designing. San Francisco was also a paradise on earth in my eyes and I thank this city for opening me up creatively. My memories are of having strange and serendipitous conversations with strangers, treasure hunting for pink stuff at Goodwills and walking down the street in crazy outfits and having people wave and smile. I think this time was a portal for me into a world that was magical, kind, playful and free. My experience there made me who I am as an artist, and that’s what I’ve imitated with this project: opening a portal into an enchanted world.
Why mermaids? Though this project has a focus on mermaids because it’s swimwear, my inspiration comes from five magical girl types: Mermaids, Fairies, Witches, Unicorns and Princesses. (I created a quiz for it which you can take here if you want to know your type!) I haven’t exactly figured out why I’m so inspired by this quinfecta but I feel like if I keep creating based on them one day they will give me a prize or tell me some kind of secret.
After finishing fashion school I decided to move back to Mexico since it would be easier to find production (dear aspiring fashion designers, good production will be your biggest challenge when starting a new line!). I started making cute bikinis but didn't know how to distribute them, I found that not enough people went to consignment boutiques or craft fairs so I tried something different. I messaged every single girl in nearby cities who had ever inquired about my designs and made appointments with them to go to their house with all my bikinis. I called it the "Mermaid Tour". I took a bus to different cities with a suitcase full of my designs and showed up at stranger's houses so they could try on bikinis in their homes! After that, Instagram started taking off and I was getting a lot of orders to the U.S.A. on Etsy. I knew that I wanted to focus on e-commerce and The U.S. was the place for it. I followed my heart and moved to NYC and things started taking off. Bigger retailers started placing orders and I met really creative women to collaborate with. Now I manage the line from here but go back to Cancun often for production and photography (the beauty of Mexico never ceases to impress). My favorite thing about a fashion line is the storytelling part of it with each collection and having the outfits be like the costumes of the characters in the photos or videos we come up with.
Other Thoughts and Goals
I find the whole process of discovering what you love to do in life and living your life based on that very important and fascinating. I started a project called "The Magic Jungle" with my artist sister, Ana. Here our goal is to create a community for creative women, whether it is to explore your creative voice and mission or finding direction for your creative business.
My future plans are to keep exploring magic portals in a feminine storytelling context hoping that it will inspire or at least enchant other people.