Ethical Artisanal Luxury / Interview with Alessandra Petersen

A few years ago I had the chance to meet Peruvian designer Alessandra Petersen, at the first edition of Carvana Americana trunk show. Tell me, what was the process of bringing your brand to Peru and present it in Caravana Americana? I have been always curious about knowing Mexico, I find it’s culture, the vibe in it’s colors, and I’m passionate about pre columbian art, and I think it has a strong nexus with Peru. I think we are mostly alike, and I feel always very happy when I come.

One day I was participating in a New York fair, (designers and Agents and Gina Barrios came top with me and told me about her project, and I loved her vision, I liked so much the idea to gather Latin American talents. The truth is that I didn’t knew about Mexican fashion at all, between Latin America there has been a few dialogue. She invited me to participate at Caravana, and to be honest I didn’t have a lot of expectations about what would I find but I was eager to come to Mexico, it was it’s second edition. In Mexico there were a few brands, but a lot of potential, we all had something in common and it was the use of artisanal processes and willing to be recognized, the curatorship of the event was well edited. I was a panelist, we had a very special conversation with Esrawe, and that was my introduction in Mexico. When I came back to all of Caravana Editions till March 2020 the last pop up store.

Tell me, what is your creative process like? It may vary, I am the creative director and that is my area. There is not a logic or same procedure in each collection, creativity comes with inspiration and many sensations, but it also is a continuous visual narrative. Coming together with images, and recurrent nature it can be the liquens in minerals, I and I get in to the subject, colors and combinations, suddenly I am obsessed. A few months later after the whirl I realize that a lot of the new combinations come from it, but were introduced organically. There is always an conductive narrative, from the materials, colors, forms and for my fitting is essential, it is the skeleton of each piece. I love fashion but I am also a fan of art an architecture. I try to travel a lot and visit museums and galleries when I can, for me they represent doors to other worlds that I collect in my imagination. Suddenly months after I saw them in my collection as well, it is very random. Before it started with a concept, it always had a lot of structure, during it’s development,

Now I feel that the way I work is more fluid. It depends a lot that also the possibility en the atelier and the techniques that we use are also inspiring to test new paths that is always a conductive thread.

What is the DNA of your brand? We use fashion as a statement, que look for our unique voice it is a world of massive consumption, of using and throwing, our DNA we can say is a conscious brand that seeks to reach for individuality of every woman, a own language, preserving the textile heritage of my country and adding a value, combined with my Scandinavian roots, making contemporary pieces. Both cultures are weavers, the weave is parte of my life and language.

How is it like to work with an ethical sustainable luxury brand?

 What does it take to be sustainable? It’s a compromise because we work with different communities, we research our textile millenary traditions that don’t contaminate. It’s creating more equilibrium the way way we live in a community and it’s surroundings. Being sustainable es not only to buy in Ethical markets, is taking conscious and been sequenced, recycle, ride a bike, consume organic, no buying plastics products, I see it as a way to humanize, in a lifestyle. It’s not only fashion.

Every now and then how are the collections coming out? We work in two hemispheres , we make parallel collections for runway shows for least 4 a years in “normality” we do a collection of unique night gowns, this particular last year we haven’t done them, however we have received many orders , due to the pandemic, I feel that we have had a closer reach to our customer, we have been more flexible, like receiving orders from October to December, the truth is that I think that is a good way to work, we must need to adapt to these times.

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