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 fibers 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. Thank’s 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 longlasting, sustainable products with an extraordinary story.
Excellent natural fibers play a key role and are the starting point of each Aymara design. This is why Aymara chooses to offer pure styles available in a wide colour palette of bright and soft colours. Our designers take into account the fashion trends but at the same time, we make sure that each Aymara product is timeless and longlasting. A lot of attention has been paid for the perfect fitting form and discrete refined details. The kids collection, designed by Yannina has a playful character whereas the women’s collection, designed by Saskia Van Herzeele is very feminine.
Peru manufactures some of the world’s finest quality fibers. For our summer collections, Aymara uses Peruvian pima cotton which is considered to be one of the softest and finest cottons in existence. In winter, garments made of precious alpaca blends are always an important part of our collection. Alpaca is a cousin of the llama and is prized for it’s thermal properties, silkiness and durability. Alpaca is a fiber which does not come at the expense of the environment. In today’s world, dominated by artificial materials, alpaca is the natural option. Alpacas graze at elevations of 3500 to 5000 meters in the Peruvian Andes. This precious fibre is used by top designers world wide. Aymara only uses the finest alpaca fibers, called baby alpaca. In our winter collections we also offer garments made of fine merino wool from Argentina.
Aymara’s knitting plant is fully integrated and employs about 60 persons on the pay roll. This assures us to be in complete control of the production process and the quality of the garments. Although the knitting process itself has been industrialized, the production process is labour intensive and still requires a lot of manual operations. A lot of attention is been paid to the linking and finishing processes. Aymara garments are fully fashioned ; this means that the cutting and overlocking process is avoided as much as possible. By doing so, Aymara’s customers are getting a high quality product with one of the finest linking and finishing standards on the market. Turn your Aymara garment inside out and you will see what we mean !
Although most of the collection is produced on industrial knitting machines, each winter season Aymara offers a small theme of hand knit accessories. This enables women to generate an income by hand knitting at their home while taking care of their children. For a lot of these women it would be impossible to work inside a company because of their family situation and the lack of childcare. You can recognize these products by the “Aymara hand knit” hang tag. We are currently investigating how this could be integrated into a wider social project.