Lot’s of people ask us where we get our inspiration for our looks, and the short answer is all over the place! With that said, my love of Peru came through in some of the looks for Cowgirl Bandit. I went 14 years ago and fell in love with the country, explored the city of Cuzco up in the Andies, where they have been making textiles for hundreds of years and bought some for my overflowing collection.
When you shop in Cuzco, you can literally buy the shirt off someone's back if you like it, because they are proud of their craft and happy to sell. Some of the textiles I have go back to the Maya empire in Mexico. True Incan Empire textiles are very hard to find because much of it was burned to keep it out of Spanish hands.
If you were a wealthy Inca, you had very ornate textiles, so valuable they were used as money, more precious than gold. All women regardless of class were expected to master the art of weaving and as a result, were the best in the Americas. Guess where the very best weavers went? Cuzco, the capital! They worked in the Acllawasi or “House of the Chosen Women.”
Last year, I had the chance to go back to Cuzco when my son, Jack was working with a master butcher. That’s when I met with a group of talented ladies who carry on the art of hand embroidery. Now, they are the very craftswomen who make the hatband for our Cowgirl Bandit hat.
My sons, Sam and Jack, in Peru on our most recent adventure.
Other clothing in our line like the Isabella Top is inspired by Peru handcrafts but embroidered by manufacturers who have more capacity. There’s only so much those ladies in Cuzco can do!