Shopping in Antwerp – Aymara @ Prinses op de Erwt
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your company?
Aymara is the result of the love story between a Belgian engineer, Sven Van Gucht, who met Yannina Esquivias, a young Peruvian travel agent, during a sabbatical year and fell in love. Yannina and Sven quit their jobs and started a knitting factory in Peru together with Yannina’s family. In 2007, the knitwear label Aymara was born. The name Aymara refers to a native ethnic group in the Andes of South America.
The magic of Aymara lies in the combination of Belgian design and Peru’s extraordinary fibres and textile craftmenship. Aymara’s knitwear is produced in our own knitting factory in Arequipa, in the south of Peru, managed by Yannina’s family. Thanks to our strong relationship with them and their unconditional commitment, this incredible intercontinental project could be achieved. We believe that in today’s world of fast fashion and mass consumption, people are looking for authentic products with a soul. When buying Aymara, you are sure to get long-lasting, sustainable products with an extraordinary story.
Which place does Merino wool take in your collection? You have both a children’s and womens collection. How does wool fit into these? How do you source wool?
Aymara is a knitwear label and each winter season 50% of the collection is made of Merino wool and 50% of baby alpaca blends, both in our women and kids collections. We buy the Merino wool through a major Peruvian yarn manufacturer, specialized in the finest fibres. They import the raw Merino wool from Argentina and Uruguay. The Merino wool we offer has received a superwash treatment which makes it machine washable, unshrinkable and quite pilling resistant.
In which countries do you sell your collection and how does wool sell in these countries?
At the moment, Aymara is sold in about 14 countries worldwide. Most of our customers buy both Merino wool garments as well as baby alpaca products.
How do you believe the use of wool will develop?
Merino wool will always play a central role in our knitwear collections. We believe very much in natural fibres and our major customers think the same way.
What is your idea about The Campaign for Wool?
In today’s world of fast fashion and mass consumption, where a lot of people choose synthetic low cost garments, it’s a great initiative to focus on wool being the natural option. We hope that this campaign will also be an incentive for designers to study knitwear design. We notice that a lot of designers have problems to design knitwear. They are used to cut and sew where you start with a ready-made fabric. Aymara’s garments are fully fashioned knitwear garments, which means that there is no cutting or overlocking. One could say that at the same time, the garment and the fabric are created, starting from the fibre. Most designers lack the technical knowledge to understand the possibilities and the limitations when producing knitwear. This campaign could be an incentive for them.