Deputy editor Marcella Echavarria sat down with Meche Correa, a Peruvian fashion pioneer and a national brand ambassador, to talk about design, culture and tradition.
HAND/EYE: What is the essence of your work?
Meche Correa: I have a profound love for everything Peruvian. Perú inspires and surprises me every day of my life.
H/E: Meche Correa is one of Perú’s national brand ambassadors. What do you think about the tradition and innovation the country’s new brand talks about?
MC: Clearly, there is no future without a past. Perú has an important legacy to offer the world and I feel an obligation to understand it and to do everything possible so that it can continue. We live in a globalized world and innovation has to be present. But I am looking for innovation with respect.
H/E: What communities are you working with currently?
MC: San Miguel in Cajamrca, Huanta in Ayacucho, Puno, Cusco, Shipibos in the Amazon – and I am also working on a very special project in Huamachuco which will be ready soon.
H/E: What is the main challenge working with artisans in Perú?
MC: Understanding them! I have spent years of my life, lots and lots of work, many, many samples, thinking that they understood me, only to realize we had to start all over again. But sometimes these challenges resulted in happy mistakes and beautiful surprises. You never know!
H/E: What are some key moments in your career?
MC: Every trip I take in Perú is a big moment in my career. Even if I go to the same place several times, there is so much reverence and emotion that it is like the first time. I always discover something new, something special, a hidden gem.
H/E: What is your take on Peruvian design?
MC: I think that Peruvian design or design inspired by cultures and traditions, has to be engaged with great responsibility. The first step is to get to know our history, travel, experience our living traditions first hand. Nobody can love what they do not know, so I think the starting point for true Peruvian design is to look around with curious eyes and an open heart.
H/E: What do you think about design and sustainability?
MC: Sustainability is crucial. We can have the best raw materials in the world but without design all of this wealth does not mean anything because it does not bring true value. In order to move forward we need to understand and embrace DESIGN with capital letters.
For more about Meche Correa, see www.mechecorrea.pe or visit her Lima boutique at Avenida Conquistadores # 325.