Pretty in Perú
The vibrancy of New York designer Mara Hoffman’s
collection fits right in at PerúMODA.
Layered prints, textures, and hues evoke the colorful culture of Peru. Mara Hoffman’s Fall Winter 2014 Collection, which she showed at PerúMODA, splashed color all across the runway.
“I like to think that the women who are attracted to what I do are women that have a bit of fearlessness to them. They are women who appreciate color and don’t mind standing out in a crowd; they have fun with the way they dress,” said the designer backstage, just before the collection wowed the crowd in Peru.
Hoffman’s vibrant prints have become the designer’s signature. They adorn everything from color-drenched bikinis in her swimwear collections to wool cardigans from her winter collections.
One of the most notable visionaries in the fashion industry, Patricia Field, “believed” in Hoffman’s line in its infancy. Hoffman officially started the line in 2000, and Field clothed HBO’s Sex and the City’s leading lady, Sarah Jessica Parker, in a few of Hoffman’s pieces in one of the most fashionable television series in history. It did get Hoffman noticed.
Later, for Sex and the City 2 in 2010, Field once again looked to Hoffman’s line for the cast to wear in the movie version of the popular show.
Hoffman remembers her early days of creating pieces by hand in her small Manhattan apartment above Indian restaurant Curry in a Hurry. “I would hand-dye the pieces, and go door-to-door with clothes in a bag on my back.”
Fourteen years later, the designer has 200 stores worldwide with a clothing line that is constantly evolving, but always in demand.
For Hoffman, showing the collection in Peru, that she also trotted out for Fashion Week in New York, held significance — there are some pieces in Hoffman’s clothing line that are produced in this South American country.
“We have a very good existing partnership with Peru,” said Hoffman. “When I was there, I met local designers who are really striving to make that next move and get on to the map and have their designs recognized.”
Her knitwear sweaters with signature-inspired patterns get their durability and flair from the Peruvian soft Alpaca, and lustrous shawls — made of Peruvian pima cotton — show the craftsmanship that Hoffman says is “superior.”
“There is a quality here, especially with the manufacturers that we work with, which is truly exceptional.”
She also feels that her style really speaks to the culture of Central and South America.
“There is a joy of color and vitality and sensuality that is way more celebrated in Central America and Latin America than maybe in North America. There’s playfulness, some sensuality and fun, and a little more humor to it — all of the things I touch upon in my designs,” said Hoffman.
PerúMODA is the main event of the Peruvian fashion industry. Held this year in April, it showcases the best of what Peru has to offer, while showcasing the Peruvian fashion industry.
Hoffman didn’t take her invite to PerúMODA lightly. “On an obvious level, we expanded more of the awareness of our brand in the Latin American market.”
On a more spiritual level, Hoffman says everything is a “domino. Nothing goes without being connected, without something else in life — whether it shows through right now or comes clear down the line.”
PERUVIAN DESIGNERS TO WATCH
from PeruMODA 2014
Escudo combines passion for design with the enormous Peruvian culture. His unique pieces are inspired in ancestral traditions and created with handcrafted techniques. Escudo makes a cultural fusion through the fabrics, mixing the essence of the past with a future projection. Folk art and exclusive attention to details are what creates Escudo’s strong brand identity. www.escudo.pe
The brand is defined both by passion and the desire to live life fully, according to Sergio Davila. He says that the United States is his inspiration and the place where he conceived an elegant, chic style — then fused it with ancient Peruvian techniques. Davila presents energetic and full of life collections, using extra soft fabrics that offer great quality and sophistication. He was the first Peruvian designer who presented his collection during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York, and also the first one to promote alpaca and pima cotton around the world. His stores are located in Lima, Perú, and New York. www.sergiodavila.com
Andrea Llosa, fashion designer and business manager, founded her brand in 2007, based on urban style and geometric lines. She manages to create a fusion of materials. The brand is inspired by punk philosophy, and as she says, “the constant search for the personal voice and differentiation.” www.andreallosa.com
Fátima Arrieta designs and produces haute couture wedding and party dresses. She works with unusual textures and is brave enough to use a versatile color palette in order to highlight an elegant and original woman. Arrieta’s garments are linked to the Peruvian culture, providing an authentic national spirit. In her new collection, “Chambi ‘20s,” Arrieta shows her clothes inspired by the “cuzqueña” essence plotted by photographer Martín Chambi in the ‘20s. www.fatimaarrieta.com
It has been eleven years since Sumy Kujón began work in her own studio in Perú. Maintaining a timeless and bold flair, versatility and feminism are characteristics that define her style which, together with sophistication, reflect her independent voice. Her works were presented at Madrid Fashion Week and in major showrooms around the world, such as “Le Showroom Paris” and “Prêt Á Porter Paris.” www.sumykujon.com
Each of Meche Correa’s — Peruvian artist and designer — creations is a reinterpretation of the past of her country. Her work is inspired by a passion for the history and culture of Peru. Her career is marked by — what she says is — her “desire to play and feel the richest expressions of art and textiles from Peruvian cultures.”