Clothes Fashion

VOZ: Giving South American Designers a Voice

By Emma Tynan


VOZ is a fashion brand giving a voice to South American artisans.  Meaning ‘voice’ in Spanish, the label is a sustainable, socially conscious luxury brand working specifically with Mapuce artisans in Chile to create their hand-woven garments and accessories. Employing fair trade principals, VOZ gives the artisans a voice in the design process as well as implementing a style of work that is healthy and respectful to the culture of the women they collaborate with. Their AW13 collection showed classic wool, hand-loomed  textiles with Anumka symbols, raw silk dresses and woven accessories are modern, sophisticated, superbly crafted and desirable.

“This project is marvellous,” says Irma Lincoqueo, a textile artisan and designer of the Poncho Alerce, “because one can see that a culture as old as ours can play and innovate without leaving the limits of culture.” Indeed, history and time are woven into these garments. Century old indigenous traditions and artistic skills go into each piece. All the yarns are locally sourced and naturally dyed to minimise their environmental impact.

But what sets VOZ apart is that the artisans attend business and design workshops and are involved in the design process. It gives the women a voice in the process:  “Before, we never thought we had abilities that we were able to share, or thought that we could create something from our own (imaginations)” said local artisan, Pascuala. It seems now VOZ has helped make that happen, with beautiful results.

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