It’s a lucrative business — alpacas. And the self-proclaimed “Ambassadors of Alpaca,” the Peruvian Connection, is expanding with a 1,400-square-foot location in the heart of downtown Aspen, Colo. The store will soft open on Thursday with a grand opening taking place on Dec. 6.
And demonstrating further philanthropic flavor, the store opening will serve as a fundraiser for the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.
A few misnomers about alpacas exist. As Peruvian Connection has taught, no alpacas are harmed for the purpose of making fur goods (the fur is harvested end of life), the fur is soft, and with more than 100 different yarn colors and 22 natural colors, Peruvian Connection is one of a selection of international brands, another being Missoni, creating a storied heritage through a rainbow of knitwear.
Along with a customer base cherishing soft goods and “ethnographic textiles,” Peruvian Connection has topped off the wardrobes of royals, such as Kate Middleton, captured wearing a winter fur hat from Peruvian Connection in January, quadrupling sales of the signature hat and knitting a larger community of “nomads and romantics.”
With 90 percent to 95 percent of goods being made in Peru by Andean artisans, the company maintains a strong founder’s heritage through Annie Hurlbut, who founded the brand with her mother in 1976, while a member of Yale’s first female class and a student of anthropology.
On the opening in Aspen, Hurlbut spoke of it as a “special place where both international travelers and those that live in the area” can appreciate a global view of art and culture as it relates to fashion.
In similar appreciation, Jean-Philippe Malaty, executive director of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, said they were “honored [Peruvian Connection] chose the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet as a partner.”
The store will be merchandised with relics from Peru, as in other store locations, as well as curated picks revealing the “luxury and affordability” of their artisan-made designs.