Vast, teeming with life, and magnificently vibrant, the Peruvian Amazon rainforest is unlike anywhere else on the planet. Deep in the jungle, we find the inspiration for this season’s new Awamaki collection: Amazonia.
A beacon of light and resiliency– and one of the most biologically diverse places in the world– the Amazon rainforest covers about 60% of Peru’s magical landscape. This season, we reach from Ollantaytambo all the way into the rainforest as a symbol of unity, as one Perú.
“In the wake of a difficult time for this strong nation between a pandemic and political challenges, this collection celebrates the strength of this Perú, our people, and all that lives on this beautiful land,” expressed Head Designer Alejandra Carrillo-Muñoz.
This season, Carrillo-Muñoz was inspired by the Peruvian Amazon’s powerfully vibrant flora, fauna, and wildlife. The artist expressed a strong desire to “go outside of our comfort zone” this season, “using vivid colors and uniquely eye-catching patterns.”
While most Awamaki collections focus on the historic indigenous culture of the Sacred Valley, Carrillo-Muñoz took an opportunity to go beyond and explore another region this season, looking to highlight the deep historical linkages between the sierra, or mountains, and selva, or jungle.
The creation of this collection’s color palette was also a partnership with nature. The Awamaki team worked with several local master dyers to create the spectacular natural colors found in Amazonia. “It is a special form of art making the colors in the first place,” expressed Alejandra. “We don’t have full control of the color– nature dictates it.” Done in small batches, many of the shades took hours of boiling and testing to perfect.
Using the remarkable hues of the jungle, Amazonia strikes a harmonious balance between modern contemporary patterns (think stripes) and iconic motifs of the Sacred Valley. “For our artisan partners, this collection was something new– exciting and a bit of a challenge.” The cuatro estacas technique used on the coin purses and wristlets is an ancient and traditional practice that few artisans still use. Even the smallest items in this collection carry profound meaning.
Carefully juxtaposed against deep authentic leathers, the rich colors of this collection also aligns with what is among our partner artisans here in the Sacred Valley.
“We try to balance providing contemporary inspiration while maintaining our artisan partners’ creative voices and fostering the exchange of ideas,” says Carrillo-Muñoz. As a result, “each piece is unique because each artisan interprets the patterns differently.”
“I love all of it,” said Head of Women's Artisan Cooperatives, Mercedes Durand Zamalloa, expressing not only great affinity for the beautiful collection, but for what it represents.
“This is truly the work of a team,” she declared, “from the designer, to the talented artisans, to the product management, and everything in between– this wouldn’t have been possible without everyone.”
Unity, strength, and vibrant beauty. This is Amazonia– and we can’t wait for you to experience it!