LIMA, Peru — Peru Moda 2005 was a showcase for apparel, textiles, jewelry and footwear from 200 companies, with a focus on increasing the country’s exports in the competitive global market.
The event, organized by Peru’s Commission for Export Promotion, Ministry of Foreign Trade & Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Lima Chamber of Commerce, the National Society of Industries and the Exporters Association, was held April 26-29 at the Jockey Plaza here.
Some 1,000 visitors attended Peru Moda 2005, representing 400 Peruvian and foreign companies from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Finland, Japan, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Chile. The number of U.S. visitors doubled from last year’s event, reaching about 100. An estimated $30 million in commerce was transacted.
Under the Andean Trade Promotion & Drug Eradication Act, Peruvian goods can enter the U.S. duty free. Peru also has the same preferential trade treatment in markets such as the European Union. These programs require that all phases of the textile cycle, from the cultivation of fiber to the cutting and sewing of garments, take place in Peru.
Peruvian companies have established working relationships for the entire manufacturing process with more than 50 major U.S. firms, including Liz Claiborne Inc., VF Corp., Hickey Freeman and Russell Corp., which were represented at the show. The Peruvian firms adapt to new trends and to the changing needs of their customers, and have short lead times, as well as maintaining flexibility regarding minimum orders and investment in research.
One of Peru’s biggest textile firms is Creditex, a vertically integrated company that each year produces about 10,000 tons of Pima and Tanguis cottons. Pima is an extra-long fiber handpicked with a soft handle and luster. Tanguis has a shorter fiber, but still offers a lustrous hand.
“The brands we work with appreciate quality and are willing to pay for it, and we, in turn, respect their exclusivity,” said Kenneth Wilson, commercial manager of the apparel division at Creditex. “We work with the higher end of the market, like Ike Behar and Ralph Lauren, and 90 percent of what we export in garments is based on Pima cotton. Even companies that deal with the mass market, like Liz Claiborne, Nautica and L.L. Bean, are looking for quality products that differentiate them, which is why we do such a huge business with our Tanguis cotton garments.”
Another Lima-based company, Limatex, a cut-and-sew firm, has created new styles for the Dutch company Kuyichi using certified Tanguis cotton.
Denim producer Textil Nuovo Mondo, also in Lima, specializes in effects that are achieved through washes and finishes, and delicate embellishments with crystals.
“Denim is very competitive,” said Marita Velaochaga, director of the apparel division at Textil Nuovo Mondo. “You must know what’s going to happen next in terms of trends, be able to react quickly, be flexible with styles and develop novelties. Presently, the U.S. market is looking for high-quality, 100 percent authentic denims.”
Peru also produces 90 percent of the world’s alpaca, a soft, hollow natural fiber that has durability and thermal qualities, is nonallergenic and resistant to pilling.
“Hand-knitting yarns, especially alpaca, have been on a roller coaster since 9/11,” said Juan Pepper, export manager at Michell & Cia, the oldest and largest privately owned alpaca farm in Peru, located in Arequipa. “The knitwear market is really waking up. Printed yarns and boucles, multicolor and eyelash effects … are in fashion.”
In addition to its collection based on alpaca and vicuna, Michell & Cia also introduced lightweight gauze scarves this season.
“Colors for 2005 are much brighter, grays remain important over browns and dark chocolate and silhouettes in overcoats have become slimmer,” said Dante Loyola, commercial director at Alpaca III, the retail division of Arequipa-based Incalpaca.