Alpaca Project Brings New Luxury Fiber to NYFW

NY: The Alpaca Project Celebration

A new luxe fiber may be gaining a foothold alongside cashmere as a go-to fabric for high fashion houses thanks to The Alpaca Project, a joint venture between the Peru Trade Commission, PromPeru and New York Fashion Week. Alpaca fiber is indigenous to the high Andes of Peru and is a major contributor to the burgeoning textile industry in the South American nation.

As part of the effort to push alpaca fiber, seven American designers were chosen to include alpaca garments in their Fall 2014 collections. Rising newcomers such as Charles Harbison and Timo Weiland joined established names like Nanette Lepore, Rachel Comey, and Emma Fletcher of TOCCA to produce a total of 25 pieces that graced the runway earlier this month in New York. On February 24 the garments were exhibited as a collective at the New York Meets Peru event at the Prince George Ballroom.

While Peruvian alpaca has been utilized by major fashion houses in the past, it has been difficult for smaller houses to acquire the fiber due to order minimums. In an effort to address this issue The Alpaca project teamed with designers to produce samples and wholesale the garments.

In addition, the participating designers were invited to travel to Peru to meet alpaca herders and tour manufacturing plants. The Peru Trade Commission hopes that these efforts to connect designers with alpaca manufacturers and Peruvian culture will raise global awareness of the industry and usher in a new era of prosperity for Peruvian textiles.

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