Peru Moda

Uncommon prints, intricately woven textiles and impressive embroideries were seen all throughout the selection at Perú Moda, the latest edition of the Peruvian fashion trade show held on July 23 at Metropolitan Pavilion in New York.

With 23 Peruvian factories exhibiting, the story was sustainability, with many major U.S. fashion brands such as Alexander Wang, Tory Burch and Marc Jacobs in attendance. And those brands are likely scouting out the latest on alpaca, the fiber once considered the “gold of the Andes.” Worn by Incan royalty, alpaca has become known today as a wholly sustainable fiber. Aside from its light, feathery-feel, buttery softness and adaptability to dyeing and weaving, alpaca has a natural range of more than 22 colors, which largely eliminates the need to dye it. And it doesn’t hurt that it also possesses a silky, attractive sheen — but brands are choosing alpaca for its most basic characteristics, as it is hypoallergenic, water-resistant, temperature controlled, biodegradable, antimicrobial, breathable and lightweight.

Jessica Rodriguez, founder and chief executive officer of Antarrah, a sleek women’s wear line and Art Atlas, a socially driven enterprise that specializes in the manufacturing of garments, accessories and household products for fashion luxury brands, both based in Peru, told WWD, “Peru has a lot of potential in terms of sustainability and natural fibers. People want something different, a good alternative, a fiber that is really sustainable, environmentally friendly, that is natural and organic — and that is the case for the alpaca, which has more than 22 natural colors. For the Peruvians, it means a lot, because more than 200,000 families in Peru live from the alpaca business, from the breeders to the yarns and production of garments, a supply chain that is made completely in Peru.”

A gray sequined textile at Perú Moda. 

Rodriguez added, “The fact that other brands are starting to look to us and recognize us, and create with us, is wonderful. Here, at this show, there are a lot of different possibilities, with brands offering products that feature [a variety of] sustainable materials and fibers. It’s a good time to share about [sustainable fashion].”

And Karina Pinto of Incalpaca, a leading manufacturer and marketer of alpaca and vicuna garments, told WWD, “Brands are definitely looking for sustainability right now,” adding that its sister company, Pacomarca, based in Puno, offers traceability for alpaca yarns with exceptional detail, which is an attractive product for designers veering away from traditional fur hides. “Most of the brands, because of the competition, brands are getting more specific [with what they want] in sustainability,” which includes inquiries regarding to fair trade, in addition to requests for certain sustainability requirements — such as GOTS-certified materials and other industry-wide standards.

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