Textiles and design are in my blood. The passion for fabric goes back to my grandmother who was a wedding dress designer in the Peruvian highlands and to my mother who followed her steps by creating her own manufacturing and exporting company designing luxurious private collections for clients in the United States and the United Kingdom.
For as long as I can remember, I used to hang around our workshop/factory, which was located just one block away from our home in Lima. I used to watch my mother and father working very hard daily with artisans they employed, showing them new design techniques and providing them direction, but alsoproviding training to accomplish beautiful designs that would appeal to the international market.
Given that background, it’s no surprise that my mother became my role model to follow. She is a leader--always motivating and encouraging our knitting groups to produce their very best. She has a keen eye and knows which task to give to a specific knitter to make their workflow more efficient.
Since my youth, I’ve come to know the artisans who employ. They are family. Most of them have been with my parents' business even before I was born. From them, I feel they look at me with hope—as the next generation to continue our growth, success, and to have the opportunity to continue working with them.
Many of the artisans my mother worked with are from Huancayo, her hometown in the highlands of Peru. As a pioneer in the knitting business, many groups from different provinces started contacting her—even coming to our factory and bringing samples of their work for review. She also started meeting new groups of mothers in Puno, Cusco, Cajamarca and Arequipa. From that moment until now, we still receive new calls/visits from new knitters who want to work with us. This encourages and inspires us to keep working hard on promoting our styles in new markets, and to have the means o provide work for our loyal artisans.
As a child my parents took me on many travels to historic and exotic countries such as all Europe, South America countries, Africa, the Caribbean, Hawaii and other states. Those travels have been enriching for me and have helped me to be more open and see the great opportunities that have been handed down to me. I have known so many different cultures and met so many people from different backgrounds that inspired me to create unique collections.
After I completed a business degree, I decided to study a fashion design course at MAD Fashion Design Institute in Lima while working in the family business. Since my parents founded the company Manos del Peru, all their loyal clients have come along by word of mouth referrals. I joined my mother and started designing together luxurious private collections for customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. Each year, we developed two well-received collections for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.
This year, my parents decided to start their retirement and they are trusting me on taking over their business. We have decided to launch my eponymous brand Pili Kukurelo by Manos del Peru as a marketing strategy to expand to new markets and new countries. My days now are filled with creating new designs all day. My color palette in my designs are inspired by nature historic architecture, and stained glass.
The brand is inspired by our family name, which was originally from Venice, Italy, as Cucurello. When my family migrated to Croatia it changed to Kukurelo. Beacuase of our European heritage and the love of creative Italian design, we hope to bring much of that enthusiasm to Pili Kukurelo by Manos del Peru.