For those of you who have spent any amount of time in Cusco you will know that alpaca clothing abounds but that finding high quality, original designs that you can actually wear once you get back home is a little more difficult!
Alpaca International is a small locally-owned boutique in the heart of Cusco that we fell in love with recently. It’s easy to walk past the store front on Santa Catalina Angosta street as from the outside it doesn’t look like much. Don’t be fooled though, because the real magic of the Alpaca International creations only become apparent when you browse through the shop filled with different styles and the assistant starts pulling out different collections that look great on and are above all unique and exclusive designs.
As the name suggests, Alpaca International specializes in the highest quality baby alpaca. Peruvian Zia Boccacio was first inspired by this mythical Andean animal when she was just aged nine and saw her first alpaca. This encounter started a love affair with Zia now designing and creating her unique alpaca wool creations in her native Peru and exporting to the U.S.
Alpaca has been a symbol of Andean civilization for thousands of years and is also known as the ‘Gold of the Andes’. Zia uses only 100% pure baby alpaca in her designs. Baby alpaca is a luxurious natural fiber that is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool and has a soft, glossy feeling like silk that keeps you warm when it’s cold but is also breathable in warmer temperatures.
Zia, now based in the U.S is proud of her Peruvian heritage promoting the Peruvian culture and textile tradition through her alpaca designs and has won a range of awards including the ‘Succesful Peruvian Business Woman in America 2014.’ Her sister Ligia manages the Peruvian operations and can often be found in the Cusco Alpaca International store selling personally to her clients.
Alpaca International has a whole range of original designs but our favourites were the versatile Frida cardigan, the Suri cape made with the softest baby alpaca available on the market and the Intarsia range designed in collaboration with the designer Intiwara and found exclusively in Alpaca international. We also loved all of their ponchos and the baby alpaca throws hand-embellished with a silk floral design.
Creations cost a little more than you find in the markets around town and are geared more towards the 30+ age group. These are nice original, investment pieces that you will be able to wear once you get back home and have as a nice memory of your time in Cusco!
Best of Peru Travel Recommends:
- Don’t forget to claim your free baby alpaca finger puppet or doll with any purchase. Just let them know that you heard about Alpaca International from Best of Peru Travel in the store!