LIMA, Peru — Every time I think of Lima, my beloved city, and Peru in general, I do not only reminisce about great memories of my childhood there, but in the past few years, I also feel a great sense of pride in all the current news about its steady economic growth, its inclusion on the list of the New Seven Wonders of the World, its recognition as the best culinary destination worldwide, and more recently, its booming fashion industry. Peruvian fashion industry is not only reshaping Peru internally, but is also increasingly capturing the attention of international fashion experts and influencing other major fashion capitals in Latin America, North America and Europe.
The Growth of the Fashion Industry in Lima
According to a recent article published by a Peruvian newspaper of economics, Gestión, the growth of the luxury fashion industry in Lima, largely supported by the Peruvian fashion designers themselves, is expected to reach 10% by the end of 2013.
A few weeks ago, Lima celebrated its 5th edition of Lima Fashion Week, also known as LIF Week, established just three years ago. On this occasion, renowned Peruvian designers were part of LIF Week Spring-Summer 2013-2014 as well as an international guest from Italy. At the event, distinguished Peruvian designer Claudia Jimenez presented ‘Night’, a summer collection thought for the night and inspired by the concept of a reef. Her collection perfectly highlights trends such as glitter and white, with the addition of colour accents for the Latin woman.
Claudia began her career as a model, and for the last ten years, she has been dedicated to fashion design in Peru. “The fashion industry of ten years ago to the present has changed massively, it is a boom that has been developing more rapidly and fluently,” explains Claudia. She recalls that while earlier in her career there were only fashion institutes in Lima, today fashion design is also offered as a professional career at the universities in the city.
Peru is no longer only considered a provider of high quality textiles and manufacturing, it is now also recognised for its design and fashion industry. “Currently, you may find many Peruvian designers who are supported by international designers such as Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace (…) a collaboration that did not exist before,” comments Claudia. The creation of LIF Week as a fashion platform and showcase for the national and international markets does not only provide Peruvian designers the opportunity to have their collections updated and develop nationally and internationally, but it also gives the Peruvian society the opportunity to educate their views and appreciation for fashion.
Another great presentation at LIF Week this past November was from El Closet de mi Hermana, a fashion brand founded in Lima three years ago by the sisters Ursula and Maria Jose Bertello. Even though this was the first appearance of the brand in LIF Week, Ursula and Maria Jose have always been very involved with the event since its creation.
Ursula explains that in Lima: “there is a great development of the fashion industry,” while Maria Jose continues: “The designers who started three years ago are much more consolidated now and have opened stores and ateliers of international stature.” Also: “[As a designer] it is no longer about making a collection for LIF Week. Now it is ‘I have my collection and I will present it in LIF Week’,” points out Ursula. Both sisters agree that the attendance at the event held twice a year now is bigger every time and LIF Week is gaining more relevance in the international press.
El Closet de mi Hermana is a brand that seeks to offer women practical fashion solutions for daily life with a special quota of fashion, trend and personality. Its latest collection presented at LIF Week was called ‘Un Dia en la Vida’ (A Day in Life) in which white and cream dominate the colour palette.
The Increasing Influence of Peruvian Fashion in Major Capitals Around the World
The collections of renowned Peruvian fashion designers are increasingly transcending barriers and influencing other major fashion capitals around the world in Latin America, North America and Europe.
In only recent months, a committee of three Peruvian designers represented Peru as a guest country in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid in September, causing a great sensation in Spain and Europe. That same month, El Closet de mi Hermana along with three other Peruvian designers presented their latest collections at the Vancouver Fashion Week. El Closet de mi Hermana was well received abroad and had great reviews in Canada and the United States. According to the sisters Bertello, Peru is already at an internationally competitive level and LIF Week is among the international standards of other major catwalks abroad.
For Claudia Jimenez, who has also participated in international fashion shows in Mexico, France, Panama and Costa Rica, it is a honour to be one of the many Peruvian fashion designers already taking part of the renowned international events.
It is not only important that the fashion industry continues to grow and develop, but it is also important that the name of Peru is heard more and more (…) Peru is a country of infinite inspiration.”
The fashion industry is in full boom in Lima and it will continue to expand and develop thanks to the vision, leadership and support of successful Peruvian talents who are amazing and inspiring local and international markets worldwide. Peru has a lot to offer to the world including its talent and fashion, so we will continue to watch its future steps in the fashion arena.