Spring into Fair Fashion

By Shira Yeskel-Mednick, Marketing and Communications Intern

Spring is coming! With spring comes warmer weather, and with warmer weather comes the time to start breaking out the sun dresses and sunnies. Here are three outfits based on different cities in Peru in the hopes that it gives you some fashion inspiration. Each outfit will feature an Awamaki bag from our new Cielo y Tierra line, and every single item will be from a fair trade or sustainable fashion company.

 

Cusco:

Cusco, the “Archaeological Capital of South America,” holds the remnants of eight different cultures. Though famous as the Imperial city of the Inca empire, there is evidence that civilizations inhabited the area as early as 1000 b.c.e. Starting with the Marcavalle culture, the area became home to the Chapanata culture, then the Qotakalli culture and lastly the Wari before the Incas arrived in around 1200. In the 15th century, under the rule of Inca Pachacuteq, the city was completely remodeled and expanded into the complex metropolis it is today. The greater Incan city of Cusco was separated into distinct regions. There was an area for the nobles and their mansion compounds, and it was clearly isolated from the sectors for agriculture, industrial production and artisanal work. When the Spanish took the city in the 16th century, they building their own city upon the foundations already in place, leaving behind a fusion of colonial and Inca architecture. Cusco is a city of layers, wearing its history proudly in the blended architecture. The city has a feeling of permanence. Through a long, and often painful past, Cusco has remained and thrived as a center of art, culture and tourism.

jeans, hat, sweater, shirt, boots, bag, earrings, necklace, necklace, necklace, ring, ring, ring, ring

This whole outfit plays with lengths and textures, inspired by the complex history of the city. I think it’s a perfect look for early spring, when it’s still a transitional season and can be a little chilly. Start by layering a cropped grey sweater over a long white button up. These two lightweight pieces will keep you cool in the sun, but keep you warm as evening starts to fall. Next, grab some trendy kick crop jeans and block heel boots. Stack on some rings and tiered necklaces, and tie the whole look together with a chic black felt hat. To round out the accessories, bring along a gorgeous woven shoulder bag, whose peachy designs are reminiscent of the terracotta roofs of the city. The final look is both classy and youthful, perfect for wandering the noble city of the Incas.

 

Arequipa:

Thanks to cave paintings in the nearby Sumbay Caves, historians date the arrival of nomadic tribes to Arequipa back to as early as 4,000 b.c.e. In the sixteenth century, the Incas conquered the area, naming it “Ariq Qipao”, or the “Land Behind the Volcanoes”. The name comes from the volcanoes El Misti, Picchu Picchu and Chachani that tower above the city to this day. In fact, a nearby valley holds over 80 volcanoes, and the entire area is an earthquake zone. In the 1600s, earthquakes and eruptions destroyed the entire city. Spanish conquistadors founded the city in 1540, building primarily in the white sillar volcanic stones that would later lend the nickname “The White City.” Sitting at the crossroads of multiple trade routes, Arequipa began accumulating wealth, power and a strong sense of pride. The city has actually tried to secede from Peru multiple times, and in the process created its own diplomatic passport. Arequipeños still have a fierce sense of pride, and harbor a rivalry with Lima, the only city in Peru bigger than Arequipa.

dress, hat, scarf, mules, bag, necklace, earrings

Pay homage to the “White City” with a flowing mid length dress with some on trend vertical stripes. A coral shawl to brings a pop of color and goes elegantly draped over the shoulders, ends trailing in the wind. Step into a pair of stylish mules (grandma-chic is back y’all, and I’m so into it). A dainty mountain necklace is a nod to the towering peaks that surround the city and ties in perfectly with the elegant look. Just like Arequipa, be a little rebellious and mix prints with a striped crossbody. Finish off the outfit with a straw hat and a pair of dusty pink petal earrings, pink tones in the accessories playing off of each other and tying the entire ensemble together.

 

Lima:

The first known settlers in Lima were the Chavin people, farmers who developed the first widely recognizable artistic style in Peru. Evidence of the Chavin culture dates back to 1000 b.c.e, followed by the Maranga culture, the Wari people, Chancay and Ichma cultures before the arrival of the Incas in the early 13th century. The Incas took the coastal region peacefully by making alliances with the leaders there, leading them to be uncharacteristically tolerant of local customs. Rather than supplanting local culture with their own, the Incas adapted to agriculture, construction and even religion of the region. Pachacamac, the god of creation worshipped on the coast, inspired such strong devotion in the peoples of the coast that the Incas nominated him to be the half brother of Inti, their all powerful god, to keep the peace. In 1535, Pizarro founded the city itself, naming Lima the “City of Kings”. The city remained loyal to Spain until July of 1821 when the Argentinian general José de San Martín invaded, took the city and declared Peru independent. Through the 20th century, Lima was in a constant state of change, with a constant influx of people as well as environmental, financial and political instability. Now the capital city is a booming metropolis of around 10 million people, home to a slew of incredible museums and considered one of the best food cities in the world.

jumpsuit, denim jacket, sneakers, backpack, ring, sunglasses

Start your look off with a powerhouse romper. So cute and so on trend with its subtle daisy floral print. Layer on a washed, slightly oversized denim jacket to add some structure. Add leather sneakers and a super cute woven backpack to be both stylish and comfortable while wandering the sprawling metropolis of Lima. Bring a splash of spring pastels to the outfit with a pair of cat eye sunglasses. For the final touches, add a statement ring fit for the ruler of the “City of Kings”. And voila, a chic outfit that can easily go from a day of wandering the city to a night out at world class bars by throwing on a bright lip and some strappy black heels.

 

So those are three outfits inspired by Peruvian cities! All of the clothing featured comes from fair trade or sustainable brands to give you some socially responsible spring inspiration. What are you most excited to wear this spring?

 

Sources:

http://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/fair-trade-clothing

https://www.rainforestcruises.com/jungle-blog/a-brief-history-of-cusco-peru

https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/273

http://www.aboutarequipa.com/abarequipa/english/history.asp

http://www.123arequipa.com/arequipa-history/

http://www.limaeasy.com/lima-info/lima-history-and-cultures