Vanessa Barrantes Talks Shumaq, the Eco-friendly Peruvian Fashion Line
Sister duo Vanessa and Jacqueline Barrantes are the Miami/NY masterminds behind Shumaq, a four-year-old successful fashion line inspired by the sisters' native Peru. While Vanessa works on the creative design aspect of Shumaq, Jacqueline applies her background in economics and international relations to build the brand and assume the role of Shumaq's businesswoman. Although Vanessa and Jacqueline took different paths in life, the sisters' love for fashion and Peruvian heritage allowed them to create a line of eco-friendly, feminine pieces manufactured completely in their home country.
Shumaq, which means beautiful in Quechua, the native language of
Peru, incorporates distinct Peruvian elements such a handcrafted
sterling silver buttons by working with artisans from the country.
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Overall, the line exudes a romantic theme of femininity with vintage
inspired pieces aimed for women to feel beautiful in. Shumaq's chic
designs range from 1970s-influenced wrap dresses to striped alpaca
sweaters. Not only is the socially conscious line praised for its
detail-oriented clothing, but also for giving underprivileged women
artisans the opportunity to work in Peru.
past Fall, the Shumaq collection unveiled 1950s- and 1960s-inspired
cocktails dresses, blouses, and skirts. The Spring collection was
introduced at a private fashion show during Spring Fashion Week in New
a young line, Shumaq has been featured in Elle, Lucky, Teen Vogue, and
Nylon, and clothing from their line can be purchased in boutiques and
retailers such as Barneys New York, Anthropologie, Selfridges, and the Shumaq online store. We spoke with Vanessa about working with her sister, the fashion world, and future Miami collaborations.
New Times: How did you get into creating Shumaq? What is your background and education like?
Barrantes: Jacky is an economics and international relations major. She
has the finance background and is very business savvy. I, on the other
hand, went to design school at FIT in New York City so when we decided
to start Shumaq, our partnership made sense. We are the perfect
combination. Jacky is very good at what she does, which is running the
business side of Shumaq and I focus on the creative.
is my best friend; we have always been very close. We are very
comfortable telling each other the truth, no sugar coating necessary. We
trust each other, and we have each other's back and that's why working
with family (even though it can be hard at times) is awesome.
themes change and evolve over time. Each season is different but the
essence of Shumaq is always there. We want to create clothing that is
comfortable and doesn't go out of style. I think good design is
timeless, especially in fashion because technology doesn't play a part
met amazing people there; we cherish our employees. They make Shumaq
with love. I think that sets us apart from everything that is made in
huge factories in China. Shumaq means beautiful in Quechua, and that's
not only for the way it looks but also for the way it's made.
in tough because it's always changing; people are always looking for
something new, for new talent. You just have to be very persistent, know
you customer, and stay true to your brand.
talented friends from Miami such as Peruvian jewelry designers Citrine
by The Stones, knits designer Karelle from Krelwear, and eco-furniture
designer Kaelsie Saravia from Surface Workshop.
advice is to work very hard and don't give up on your dream. To do what
you love. As Bruno, Jacky's husband, would say: the harder you work the
luckier you get. Jacky is very ardent about this one, her advice is to
intern, intern, intern!
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