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A Chic Alpaca Brand Preserves Peru’s Weaving Heritage

Ayni trains women in traditional methods to make stylish luxury sweaters.
Weaving for Ayni in Cusco, Peru.

Weaving for Ayni in Cusco, Peru.

Source: Ayni

Three years ago, partners Laerke Skyum and Adriana Cachay, the founders and owners of Peruvian clothing company Ayni, were at a turning point. Their company could keep making alpaca wool sweaters and other clothing designed for fashion-conscious buyers, something it had done since 2009. But a side business consulting and producing private-label goods for other brands and running a Peruvian government certification program in traditional knitting methods was taking off.

“That was where we found our most lucrative business and where we took our know-how to a different level,” says Cachay. She and Skyum wondered whether it was time to put the label to rest. “We thought, Let’s do one last show, we’ll see how it goes, and otherwise it would be our swan song,” she says.