This is the first of our Featured Artists and Designers posts. We want to share with you the tips and stories that we find online and on our travels. Even if we may not be working with these artists (YET!) we have found their work so inspiring and special that we could not keep it to ourselves. So without further ado.. meet ESCUDO:
We fell in love with Escudo while we browsed the internet and stumbled upon one of Chiara Macchiavello's recent runway shows. The founder and creator of Escudo takes pride in bringing Peruvian folklore, traditions and ancient techniques to her creations and mixing them with new elements to give live to her own unique style.
As a Peruvian abroad, I feel so proud to see the work of Peruvian artists getting global recognition, especially from the fashion capitals of the world such as Paris, London and Milan, which have opened their runways to Chiara for the last few years.
"DEVOTED TO DESIGN,
COMMITTED TO HERITAGE"
“Clothing acts like our armor, our shield, that protects us against the elements,” Chiara explains when she's asked about the brand name, which translates as both “shield” or “Coat of Arms”. She adds that shields were once (and still are) used to identify aristocratic families, royalty, nations, and in this sense, clothing does the same, it outwardly represents our identities.
Just like Matria Home, Chiara likes to tell stories through her collections. As the designer describes, the clothing itself has history, the process that brings a piece from the original concept to the physical garment, which involves much more than we might imagine.
Escudo is based in Lima but works closely with weavers from Huancavelica; a neighbouring province south east of Lima. It's not only one of the most remote corners of Peru but unfortunately also one of the poorest. As Daniel Huby from Escudo tells us "Huancavelica is home to some of the best loom weavers of the country. Many of the Escudo designs are based on handmade looms textiles, so we decided to focus our production in this region."
Daniel adds "The relationships we have with our weavers started way back, before Escudo even launched. We met for projects in the past and during trips to the area and through referrals. We promote a horizontal work environment, meaning that learning is mutual and ideas are shared until we get to the final design. It's important for us to create a sustainable work environment in Huancavelica, a place where mining work is popular but it comes with less than ideal work conditions. We believe it's important to preserve traditional craftsmanship, which is less popular with the new generations.
And now a treat for you; a glimpse of the Peruvian altiplano and some of the artisan weavers that work with Chiara and Daniel. Thank you Escudo for sharing this video, which we hope will transport you to a place as far as it literally is.. and hopefully it nudges you to pack your bags and visit this fascinating place I call home; Peru!