For those of you who weren’t able to make it to the Peru Gift Show in Lima this April, I thought I would go ahead and share some snapshots. This is an annual show featuring artisan suppliers throughout Peru in categories such as reversed painted glass mirrors and home accessories, knitted alpaca and cotton toys and children’s items, gourd jewelry, Cusco striped blankets, embroidered bags and belts from Ayacucho, stoneware and ceramics, ornaments from a wide variety of materials, reclaimed wooden tabletop, and of course endless pillows and throws made using the finest alpaca.
After reflecting on the show, I must say that there was not a lot of “new” design innovation per se, but I did see a lot of growth within the category of knitted and woven apparel. This makes sense as more and more designers and wholesalers are feeling comfortable traveling down to Peru; not only do they know that the region provides a vast selection of fabrics, techniques, and high quality materials, but many suppliers also have excellent manufacturing facilities to create your design concepts from start to finish. I was most intrigued by the jackets and hats made of felted alpaca by one company in particular.
All in all, I highly suggest visiting this show to connect with some of the top exporters from Peru. If you want to really get out and visit the artisan communities, I suggest scheduling at least 10 days of travel time. If you make your way to Lima, I highly suggest setting aside three or four days to visit Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Cusco has turned into a hot spot and designers are starting boutique shops and restaurants all the time, serving up some wonderful design inspiration.
Hopefully you received my previous email containing favorite spots from Lima but if not, feel free to send me an email and I would be happy to share insight and tips. What are some of your favorite spots? I'd love to hear!