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You're Invited to See It First

Two years ago, my auntie Adriana traveled to Portugal and brought me back a cork purse. I had never heard of “cork fabric” and was quite delighted by it. My purse feels like leather, but it is made from the bark of cork trees in Portugal. Cork is harvested by periodically separating the bark from the tree without causing permanent damage to the tree. Yeah, the tree is left standing. I had no idea. The thing that surprises me most about my cork purse is how durable it is. I have uncorked more than my fair share of wine bottles, and those bottle corks break all the time. My cork purse is a different story. After using it for well...

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Mórrope

Nine years ago, newly graduated from college with a biology degree and an amateur interest in fashion, I traveled to Peru.  I had spent the previous four years preparing to enter the workforce in the field of environmental conservation and community development, though I had not figured out exactly how to do that. Then, my junior year, it hit me.  My grandmother had become one of my closest friends in my teenage years, and now, heartbreakingly, she was suffering from a fatal illness.  I flew across the Atlantic a few times that year to be near her, and the rest of the time, she was on my mind a lot.  I had grown up wearing the fabrics she designed, printed in her...

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My Design Philosophy

When I design a new collection, I think of the inspiring women in my life. I think of my friends, my idols, my mom, and the women in my family. As I picture each woman, I wonder what kind of style would flatter her body; which features does she like to accentuate? What does her lifestyle demand from her clothing? What details might make her life easier?     I draft the clothing patterns myself and sew prototypes to check the design. I usually create three to six prototypes to get the fit just right. Then I select one of my grandmother’s fabric prints, and then a color combination. My aim is to not only choose beautiful prints in vibrant...

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The Early Days

I unearthed this contact sheet in an old family photo album. That’s my mom and auntie with the book, the original Silvania fabric-printing workshop, and two fabrics designed by my grandmother, inspired by ancient Peruvian art.

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