TANgerine & Co.: the passion for the spontaneous

TANgerine & Co.: the passion for the spontaneous

Tanya Ortiz is the mind behind TANgerine & Co., a local brand of bags and backpacks. She actually studied Biomedical Engineering, but she is no stranger to textile design and creation: she learned to sew when she was eight years old and since then she began to make, especially clothing, in a self-taught way. TANgerine & Co. began, one might say, by chance. For approximately five years, Tania has dedicated herself completely to the coincidence that became her passion: making bags.

180º: How did the idea of ​​making bags come about?

T: I lived in India for a while, and when I returned I brought a lot of beautiful fabrics. I did different things with them and in the end I only had little pieces left over, but they were too precious to me to get rid of. I had enough to make three or four bags. A friend liked them and asked me to make more. Then I started looking for materials that I liked from the options available in Mexico. That same friend invited me to participate in a Christmas bazaar. There I realized that I had to think about a brand and have several models. From there there were some people who started looking for me. Obviously friends and family, who are a fundamental part of starting a business. The first bags I made were not part of a collection and, when I saw that there was a good response, I formalized everything, created the brand, began to have production processes with quality goals, and from that the project has evolved and grown. I was always clear that I wanted to use as much Mexican raw material as possible and that the labor was well paid.

180º- Who else is part of TANgerine & Co.?

T: A very important part of the project is Mr. Arturo, production manager. He worked in the industry and in very large bag production workshops, but he was already tired of working like that. He now has his own workshop, where he works on smaller productions and at a slower pace. We made a perfect alliance. He knows the dynamics and the processes, and he has a lot of experience.

180º: What is your main inspiration?

T: The structure of the fashion industry is not something that I love, I think that rather one has to do things as one feels comfortable and each person creates their style. Trends and fashionable colors don't attract my attention. I have thought about the large collections that I have made in terms of their function. Originally the brand started making things to order, people asked me for things according to what they needed. So I thought about making a collection according to the purpose of the pieces. The latest collection has six models, almost all of them are waterproof, there is a backpack for school, a kind of backpack bag, each model has an ideal use. In this latest collection, called Nature, the color combinations come from images of nature, which always inspire me a lot.

180º: What is your favorite material?

T: I love cotton. Although many people are conflicted about having to wash it, it is a material that has characterized the brand. I always like to have some fabric with some leather detail.

180º: You have done some collaborations, how have they been?:

T: It has never been something I sought out and it has always been with friends. It always comes up in a conversation and then we ideate and plan the project. I have collaborated twice with a Brazilian architect, Marina Canhadas, who is a friend of mine. We made the Patterns I and II collections, which have been very successful. In collaborations, they normally take care of the print and I take care of the bag, and I try to make it a different bag from what I do in my collections. Another collaboration, called Day and Night, was with Amanda Mijangos, who is an illustrator. Very early on I did something with Paola Delfi, also an illustrator, who hand-painted some pieces. The collaboration, like everything in the brand, is something spontaneous. There is a collaboration that I did seek, it was with artisans from Zinacantán. I wanted to represent the Mexican theme, which I love. The collaboration was with some artisans that I met who are in an organization that helps artisans formalize their work. I made a collection with models that already existed, but with the intervention of embroidery. That collection was called Zinacantán, they were very unique pieces.

180º: What is the creation process like?

T: I've never made anything I wouldn't use myself. I have all the models in a collection and use them. I think it's like evolving those models. There may be a very basic shape, the tote bag for example, but how do you give it a twist? I just think that this last collection evolved a lot in that aspect. Now the finish of something initially simple is a little more formal.

180º: What are the future plans of TANgerine & Co.?

T: Right now I am in a process of internationalization, without it being something so formal. The opportunity arose to start selling in a store in Toronto. I had always been afraid to look at foreign stores, because I didn't know how it would work without them having seen the product. Then a trip to Toronto came up and I took some bags with me to take to stores, to see if anyone was interested. I wrote to several stores and they accepted me without even having seen the product. I started to think that I had nothing to lose by writing to stores. The bags are already being sold in Toronto and I am also in the process with a store in France.

180º: How did you get to 180º SHOP?

T: I have been there for many years now. Just when my first collection, Fresh Summer, came out, I walked into the store. This is the best time TANgerine & Co. has had at 180º SHOP since I joined, almost three years ago.

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