These six brands are making the most of Peru’s rich natural materials and regional culture.
When it comes to fashion’s favored metropolises, whole continents are looked over — but, as we know, many cities in Asia, Africa and South America are bustling with creativity and local industry.
Look at what’s happening in Peru, the home to pima cotton production and the world’s largest population of alpacas, the adorable camelid whose fibers provide some of the coziest sweaters ever. The country’s leading independent designers not only champion homemade textiles, but they also bring unique perspectives to these traditions and build businesses around ideas of sustainability, modularity and extending the life cycle of your clothes.
Ahead, meet six of such fashion creatives (who are all Lima-based, coincidentally), who trend curious about innovative materials and weave regional myths into the threads of their pieces.
ANNAISS YUCRA (A.Y)
There’s something immediately striking about an Annaiss Yucra (also dubbed A.Y) garment — you’re drawn in by the jagged shapes of its bright prints, then taken by the softness and comfort of their construction and materiality. The brand was founded in 2018 by the Central Saint Martins-educated designer of the same name, who grew up in her family’s textile workshop.
“It’s a flower that grows 5,000 meters above the sea — it grows in adversity: Where the retama grows, nothing else grows,” she says. “It’s an allegory for [Peruvian] people.”
Despite proximity and access to Peru’s large alpaca industry, Yucra usually opts out of using the animal fiber: “I work with plants. I love working with recycled fabrics and combining them with cotton,” she says. “At the end of the day, it’s about those commitments to good practices.”
Prices range from $140 to $650, with the average garment coming it at around $300.
Leaning on alpaca fibers and pima cotton, Mariella Gonzales’ Kero puts a spotlight on handmade craft and artisanal techniques through its multi-colored fringe skirts, airily crocheted pieces and azure jacquard prints.
“The design language of Kero reflects the energy of Peru’s mountains, the rhythm of the Pacific Ocean and the mystique of the Amazon,” Gonzales says of her brand, which she founded in 2001. “Each garment is a work of love, meticulously made to be unique with special details, vibrant colors and excellent quality.”
Kero tends to release two collections each year, in the spring and fall. Available to shop on its own e-commerce and on Faire, items range in price from $35 to $730, with the average item costing about $200.
Creatively led by Ana Guiulfo, the (basically) eponymous brand has been marrying graphic prints with hand-painted motifs that bring an artsy feel to refined silhouettes since 2005, when it started out in Miami before expanding to Lima. The result is vibrant, but elegant — think a boned-bodice dress boasting a two-toned illustration and intricate handbags woven by local artisans.
Source : Fashionista