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Last week we introduced those “What To Wear" girls, Karen Klopp and Hilary Dick to our friends at the Peruvian Connection on 75th Street and Columbus Avenue. It’s always interesting to watch women “who know" go shopping. They cover the entire territory but are immediately drawn to certain racks which are featuring something they like. Hilary almost immediately grabbed a beautiful green dress. When she took it off the rack and also looked at the price tag, she showed it to Karen with a “look..!" She’d hadn’t anticipated the great value.
She tried it and that was it; she loved it. Later I emailed her and asked about her experience. She wrote back: “It was such a treat to be introduced to the Peruvian Connection. I first noticed the dress I chose because of its amazing rich color. Then I was taken in by the feel. The fabric is extremely soft cotton and hangs well on the body. It feels cozy and enveloping while being chic at the same time.
“Being a dress gal, I was surprised that I was drawn to these blue graphite pants. When I was told they were a number one seller for years, I just had to try them on. And now I know why they are a hit. The fit and feel are amazing. They are flattering in all the right spots and the attention to detail on the pockets, knees and hem make them special. Paired with this super soft Peruvian cotton shirt, they are a no-brainer. These pants will definitely be a staple in my wardrobe."
Karen has the same sense of purpose that Hilary has. It’s not surprising they’ve been producing their “What To Wear" site for ten years now. Karen almost immediately went to this dress. She saw it, tried it on, came out and showed us, and that was that. I also asked her later her thoughts about the experience and the collection:
“I had noticed Peruvian Connection but had not previously shopped there. Hilary and I discovered a lovely collection of natural fibers, crafted entirely in Peru. The business began in 1976, a mother daughter collaboration of Biddy and Annie Hurlbut, who discovered the value and quality of Peruvian weaving techniques.
“I would venture that this enterprise began, or at least as the forefront, of the women empowering women business model that is so popular today. What I love about the pieces is the soft feel of them. Since I am always on the lookout for pieces that travel well, I can recommend their cozy Alpaca sweaters, the chic leather pieces and the versatility of their other pieces. I chose a V-neck sheath, so easy to pack, with a pattern of rich jewel tones that are so on cue for fall events. It functions so well as we head into the season of ‘transitional dressing.’ Wear now with pumps, and later topped with a leather jacket and boots. This one is a keeper!
Alpaca fiber is warmer and stronger than wool, and so resistant to saturation that it’s nearly water-repellant. It’s also free of the lanolin that is present in wool, making it hypoallergenic. Lighter shades of the fleece also take dyes beautifully, making it invaluable to our designers when they want to bring a vibrant sweater design to life.
There are countless reasons why alpaca fiber is so revered, but here at Peruvian Connection, it's how the fiber has woven its way into the history of Peruvian culture that makes it so compelling and endearing.