Is there is a significance behind the name? How did you come up with it?
Mantari is my mother’s last name, Juana Mantari, the founder of our company. Our family name comes from the Peruvian valley of Mantaro. Mantari’s significance is mantra of the sun arch.
What made you realize you wanted to become a designer?
Ever since I was a teenager, I channeled my creativity into developing plastic arts. This led me to combine my creativity with knitting as I was always surrounded by this tradition thanks to my mother. Lucky for me both of these activities complement each other in my design work. The collection may be my design, but it is also Juana’s knowledge and Julia’s perseverance. The three of us converge into the soul of Mantari.
“We can proudly say they were made in Peru under fair trade practices while respecting the environment to make sustainable fashion.”
What is the significance of alpaca for the brand?
The alpaca fiber is the principal element in our collections. The Incas considered it the fiber of the Gods. It has so many attributes such as its softness, resistance and being hypoallergenic. It is light and thermal, maintaining body temperature while being breathable and comfortable. Alpaca is one of Peru’s sources of great pride that we promote to the world through fashion.
Describe the significance of sustainability when it comes to the Mantari brand.
When someone wears our products and wonders where it came from and how it was made…we can proudly say they were made in Peru under fair trade practices while respecting the environment to make sustainable fashion. Being sustainable allows us to honor the ancient knitting techniques of our Andean culture which we still implement with our artisanal mothers. These are the values (sustainability and heritage) that we unite with technology to innovate and create Mantari.
How do you want women to feel when they wear your brand?
Free, beautiful, comfortable, proud and empowered.
How has fashion changed since you initially started designing?
Fashion has been constantly changing. When I first started designing the focus was on quality and design. Today, those two characteristics are not enough. We now have the responsibility to think about who makes our clothing and if they are treated fairly, if our company respects the environment and if our work helps develop our community.
“Do not be afraid to fail because it is only one more step to your success.”
What is your favorite fashion trend today?
The principal trends for us in creating Mantari are eco-friendly and sustainable.
What advice would you give someone who is starting a brand from scratch?
Do not be afraid to fail because it is only one more step to your success.
If you could go back and change one thing in the life of the Mantari brand, what would it be?
We are an emerging brand, happy with the acceptance we have received and of our history. I do not think I would change anything.
What is next for the future of Mantari?
The upcoming Spring Summer collection inspired in the Amazonian ecology in Peru which we will be presenting at Coterie in September.