The fashion industry is dominated by European faces. We all know, at least, one name of a model, designer or a trendsetter from Paris, Milan, London or New-York.
When I tell someone that I am launching a new brand made in Peru, they are surprised. Indeed, most of people don’t know Peru as a fashion center.
However, new icons are emerging from the Inca land. Let me introduce you to three leading figures in fashion who come from Peru.
Juana Burga Cervera : a natural beauty
She is the only Peruvian fashion model to walk the New-York, Milan, Paris and London catwalks. Juana Burga Cervera has a typical Peruvian look. She has black hair, lovely olive skin and almond eyes.
Juana personifies the diversity and richness of Peru. Her father comes from the Amazon region in Peru and her mother is from the North; two regions with magical cultures and traditions.
Like most South American countries, a lighter skin tone is still a criteria for beauty in Peru. However, a large range of the population has an olive skin tone. Mario Testino, the famous fashion photographer, has said that Juana has a beauty disregarded in Peru for too long.
Her story started when she was 16. In 2007, she won the Elite Model Look Contest in Peru. After that, Juana became the face for several famous brands like Ripley, Levi’s and Vera Wong. She never thought that she would be on the international catwalk. At first, it was not her dream. It was an opportunity that presented itself and she decided to take it ! (run with it) !
As Juanita said, she would like Europeans to stop thinking that Peru is only Machu Picchu. Even though thess imperial ruins are fantastic, Peru is more than that. Peru is a source of inspiration for artists like writers, painters, and designers alike.
Juanita is an example for all girls and boys to not let an opportunity pass you by. She saw and seized the opportunity to create her own future.
Mario Testino : The Genius photographer
Mario Testino is a Peruvian fashion photographer. He was born in 1954 and grew up in Lima. When Mario Testino was 22 years old, he decided to travel to England to study photography. Testino had done several student jobs before becoming a successful photographer.
His career started when he was chosen by The Princess Diana to shoot her for the cover of Vanity Fair in 1997. Then, he became one of the favorite photographers of the royal families of Europe.
His photography has been published in the most influential fashion ‘bibles’ like Vogue, Vanity Fair, and V Magazine. He also produced iconic images for luxury brands like Burburry, Channel, Gucci, and Lancôme.
He has taken portraits of many celebrities like Madonna, Kate Moss, The Rollings Stones, Gisele Bundchen, Scarlett Johnanson, Claudia Schiffer, Brad Pitt, and so on !
His work has been awarded with several honors like the Order of British Empire in 2013 in recognition of his career and his charity work. He also was awarded The Grant Cross of Merit in Peru.
Mario Testino has never forgotten his Peruvian roots. As a Save Children ambassador, he has helped to raise funds to rebuild El Salvador Clinic, based in Chincha which was destroyed during a violent earthquake.
It seems with age, Mario Testino is going back more and more to his native country. In April 2013, he had his first exhibition, “Alta Moda” which focused on traditional Peruvian attire. This exhibition took place in Lima. The same month Vogue Paris released an entire magazine dedicated to Peru.
Take a look at some of his awesome photography :
Angelita Carrion : The hair style MASTER
The Style Masters Contest is organized every year. This contest awards the best hair stylist in the world. It is organized by the prestigous brand, Revlon. In the fashion world, to win this award is like winning an oscar for an actor !
In 2014, Angelita Carrion was up against more than 3,500 competitors from all around the world for the Style Masters 2014 International Contest and won. The winner of the Style Master Contest is determined based on technique, creativity, style and look.
Angelita comes from a small Peruvian province named Huarmey, in the Ancash region. When she was 18, she decided to work and study hard. Five years later, her dream came true and she received a prestigious honor.
Now she is a reference in fashion for hair and style and travels around the world to do what she love.
From now on, we hope that you’ll also consider Peru a fashion capital :)