Fashion

Fashion police: Saving an Andean tradition

Agnes Rivera

A small fashion business sets out to save the embroidered wear of Peru’s highlands from extinction.

Fashion police: Saving an Andean tradition

(Photo courtesy of Las polleras de Agus)

This article appears in the April issue of An Extra Shot. To enjoy the complete issue download your e-version here.

Season after season fashion brands set out to create something new, more often opting for modern cuts and minimalism. What does this mean for traditional clothes that are full of color and decoration, each element full of meaning and value? Not to skirt the issue, Griela Perez set out to save the embroidered wear of Peru’s highlands from extinction.

Her brand, Las Polleras de Agus, enjoyed its first exportation overseas to Spain last year and continues to sell to proud Peruvians and impressed foreigners.

How did the project start?

It was a beautiful coincidence. While living in Huanuco, in the highlands of Peru, I was walking through the market and noticed a piece of art: women embroidering polleras…I was pregnant at the time and I fantasized that my daughter [Agustina] would one day be able to wear one.

The day I was able to find one small enough to fit her, I was so proud that I would dress her in the pollera to every party or gathering we would go to. It was a sensation!

Today I feel satisfied not only with the artisans that we work with but with the outcome of the project, to be able to share with the world the beautiful art that Peru has to offer.

Is Las Polleras de Agus only for young children?

When we began, nearly a year and a half ago, we only sold polleras for young girls and babies. Due to popular demand, we then began to offer polleras for the mothers as well. Now we count with chalecos [vest], table runners, pillowcases and decorative blankets, bags and laptop covers, among other products.

It’s important to us to not only innovate but to maintain the artistic work and quality of our artisans.

It seems risky for a fashion brand to take influence from a tradition that is fading. Why do so?

It’s our mission to rescue the typical dress of the Andes in order to create a boomerang effect. It’s only natural that fashion and style take influence from the surrounding environment, so if we can get these products to once again enter today’s closets, there’s a chance that polleras [and other traditional wear] will once again thrive in their place of origin – the Andes.

Contact info: info@laspollerasdeagus.com
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This article appears in the April issue of An Extra Shot. To enjoy the complete issue download your e-version here.

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