Destination: Peru: Cusco
An outpost of the stylish Lima shop, Indigo has opened in the Casa Andina Private Collection hotel. Though smaller than the San Isidro shop in Lima, this branch sells a great selection of the fashion and housewares made by top Peruvian craftsmen, from delicate alpaca scarves and vibrant cloth purses to handsome wooden trays and colorful ceramic pieces. The owners like to say that their products contain the songs of the millennia and so they inspire your soul. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
It’s not surprising to discover that the sister of famed photographer Mario Testino has a strong aesthetic sense. Giuliana studied architecture before turning to fashion. Her knitwear and accessories accentuate the Peruvian tradition of artisanship, as all her pieces are handmade. The looks may be modern, but the techniques of macramé and crocheting are ancient. Her collections are often made of cotton and alpaca and include ponchos, boleros, scarves, coats, hats and clingy dresses and skirts. Barneys and Neiman Marcus as well as stores in London, New York and Hong Kong have carried her one-of-a-kind pieces. Her brother has been a major inspiration for her, and he raves: “What I love about her clothes is that I can see a woman in Capri wearing her dresses and shawls, and a girl in Ibiza wearing the hot pants and see-through dresses. She has so much elegance and taste and is incredibly chic.” Open daily , 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Kuna may be considered Peru’s version of Benetton. It has shops all over Peru, including in the airport in Lima, in the seafront mall Larcomar, on the main plaza in Cusco and in the Hotel Monasterio. It now also has outposts in Argentina, Chile, even Dubai. Fine alpaca is part of everything it sells—from men’s and women’s sweaters and coats to scarves, hats and gloves—but its designs are very fashionable. Some scarves may be 85 percent baby alpaca and 15 percent silk; many are in bright, fun colors. If you want to buy alpaca items that you will definitely wear at home, you will find the best selection and prices here.
Tip: During sale time, you may find the best items in the hotel shops, which are less trafficked than those in airports or major shopping streets. There are also branches in the Sanctuary Lodge and Hotel Libertador, as well as in the Plaza de Armas.
La Casa de la Llama
The House of the Llama is a Peruvian chain that specializes in knits made from the wool of the llama, which may not get as much attention as the alpaca but which this house argues is an even finer fiber. The designs are attractive if slightly more classic than those at Kuna or Giuliana Testino. La Casa de la Llama also carries stylish fur and suede vests and many handbags in both leather and woven styles.
Note: This branch is larger than the one in Lima in Larcomar.
Another one of the Peruvian fashion houses that specialize in clothing made from South American camelids (vicuña, guanaco, alpaca and llama), but here the focus is really on the two finest: alpaca and vicuña. If you are looking for a classic stole, pullover, coat or scarf in butter-soft vicuña or baby alpaca, this is the place to come. Many of the designs are traditional (cable-knit pullovers and reversible overcoats and capes).
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