Yes, yes, I know I’m dramatically behind on all sorts of blog posts about my exciting adventures. They’re coming, I promise! But first, let me make space for an interlude about Awamaki, an NGO near and dear to me.
Awamaki does great work in the rural areas surrounding Ollantaytambo, Peru, most notably through work with indigenous women’s weaving cooperatives. It’s a special project. I’ve been around since its early days and currently sit on the board in the United States. Awamaki runs many effective programs, from health to education to sustainable tourism, but the weaving project gets special love (from me, anyway) for its all-encompassing developmental impact. And I used to be coordinator of its predecessor project, so I’m biased.
A few years back, a wonderful, motivated woman named Annie Millican found us in our utopian corner of Cusco and brought a new project idea: A fashion design residency that would source materials from the traditional weavings. She brought that seed of an idea into a full-fledged operation program, now called Awamaki Lab, complete with newly-founded sewing cooperatives and snazzy promotional materials.
I have a Google Alert set up for Awamaki, and every few days there’s some new press buzzing about just how plain rad and innovative Awamaki Lab is. Fashion blogs from New York to Paris are chattering about Lab, and we even got a mention in a New York Times blog article last year profiling Andrea Crescioni, one of this year’s Lab designers.
This week, BlackBookMag ran a piece about the new collection–with the squeal-worthy headline “The Return of Awamaki Lab: Peruvian Fashion Comes to the Big City”–with previews of the line. Hand/Eye Magazine got in on the action, too, with an in-depth piece showing last year’s line and a sneak-peek at this year’s.
Forgive me for gushing, but I’m so proud of Annie and the rest of the Awamaki team in Peru. This coming week, we’re celebrating our second season at the Textile Arts Center in Manhattan, with a presentation and trunk show. See ad below (and swing by if you’re in NYC!)