Textile Diplomacy: Celebrating Peruvian Fashion Design & Educational Exchange in the U.S.

Ambassador of Peru to the United States of America Luis Miguel Castilla together with Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism – MINCETUR will host an exclusive cocktail reception at his residence on June 22nd to celebrate Peruvian textiles and talent in fashion design, the Peruvian Embassy in the U.S. announced.

The evening will also compliment President Barack Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, which focuses on dramatically increasing educational exchanges between the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

The evening will feature renowned Peruvian designer, Sergio Davila, who is quickly making his mark on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.  His collection emphasizes the quality of natural textiles, influenced by millenary techniques used in the Peruvian knitwear and textiles.

Peru celebrates a longstanding tradition of fine textiles and fabrics, dating back to the indigenous people of the Andes and their domestication of alpaca, vicuña, and others for their versatile wool. The patterns that one can find in traditional Andean weaving are almost infinite and imitations can be found globally.

Today, the traditional techniques are being revived by traditionalists and modernists alike from the streets of Cusco to the catwalks of fashion shows.

In tribute to President Obama’s mission of “expanding cultural and educational exchanges among young people,” the evening will also showcase three Peruvian student designers studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City as well as one Peruvian student fashion photographer. They will travel down to Washington D.C. courtesy of Amtrak to showcase their designs throughout the evening.  Greater educational opportunity and exchange in fields like textile production and fashion design will make young people more competitive – developing new skills, building bridges across borders, and ultimately improving relations between the United States and Peru.

As the two governments believe, critical skills that are needed to grow our economies are gained through studying, volunteering, and working overseas. Today’s economy demands that students have more than just a degree when they graduate from college – they also need to be able navigate different environments, communicate in a common language, and demonstrate the persistence and leadership that is gained through exposure to other cultures.

The fashion show is part of a year-long celebration of the vibrancy, history and biodiversity of Peru in Washington, D.C. It includes the public debut of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s newest Andean bear cubs, the opening of “The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire” exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Guests will enjoy live music in the garden of the residence and sample Peruvian cuisine provided by Peruvian Brothers, Del Campo, Sardi’s Manassas and Firenzes Gelateria washed down with Peru’s celebrated Cusqueña beer and craft cocktails made from top-shelf pisco varietals courtesy of Macchu Pisco.