Manos del Peru inspires generational entrepreneurship


Rosa Kukurelo loved to watch her grandmother design and create wedding dresses. After Rosa married, she and her husband Hugo Vargas teamed to create Manos del Peru, which was  inspired by those wedding dress recollections, but also Rosa’s birthplace—the highlands of Peru.
From day one of its launch in 1982, Manos del Peru became one of the first companies to export luxury apparel made with the finest natural fibers available in Peru. During the past three decades, the company has been on a successful trajectory with the second generation taking over the company’s management. Pilar Vargas, the current administrative manager along with her siblings work together with product/design development and sales promotion.
Manos del Peru partners with teams of indigenous artisans in provinces throughout Peru. Artisans of the Manos del Peru family receive extensive training as well as the materials and equipment needed to work. Over time, they learn to refine their craft that holds its own value within the international fashion market. “To us, they are the heart of our design, the traditional techniques they employ keep the roots of the Peruvian culture alive and give Manos Del Peru a great sense of continuity,” said Vargas.
In addition, the company keeps their environmental impact to a minimum while simultaneously making a significant contribution to people and their communities by offering opportunities to maximize their talent. “We do this by employing talented artisans throughout all of Peru, including remote and impoverished regions. The result is not only beautiful, authentic design, but long-term, positive economic impact on local communities,” she added.
A noteworthy outcome has been the company’s role in promoting economic development within the region by becoming a major player in exporting luxury apparel, but also becoming ambassadors of Peruvian culture. “For us, we feel it is our greater responsibility to remain committed to the promotion of economic development and independence which became challenging in this growing market. At the same time, it was an even bigger challenge to expand across waters, but the journey has been exactly what we needed and that has allowed us to adapt. The result is a stronger network and success with different countries across oceans, delivering our products with high quality and speed.”
Their production process starts by sourcing baby alpaca, silk and cotton yarns from the most renowned yarn companies in Peru. “Our clients can choose from our finest natural fibers to create a collection they will be proud to call their own.” Said Vargas. With all the materials on hand, the artisans begin working with knitting groups mostly in the outskirts of Lima and in the provinces of Peru. Once the individual pieces are reviewed for quality they are shipped to the factory in Lima for the finishing details and quality control..
Manos del Peru will be exhibiting NY NOW’s Artisan Resource from February 5-8 for the first time at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.  The company will have on display to potential buyers fine apparel handmade, woven, knitted and stitched with the finest materials such as 100% Baby Alpaca, 100% Pima Cotton, as well as 100% Organic Pima Cotton. Products come in  a wide variety of colors, ranging from neutrals, to the purest ivory, the deepest black and a wide array of vibrant color combinations.
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