Chilean brand VOZ partners with the famed indigenous Mapuche weavers of Southern Chile, to hand craft baby alpaca and llama wool into a collection of contemporary dresses, coats, shawls, and ponchos. The collection centers around the traditional hand woven patterns and designs of the Mapuche. Seeking to find a way of respecting tradition while marrying contemporary design, founder Jasmine Aarons, produces a collection of vibrant graphic hand woven designs in black, natural and brick red. Augmented with hand knits, the collection incorporates simple shift dresses featuring the bold graphics of the Mapuche, cropped, long and asymmetric ponchos, wraps and coats.
Each piece in the VOZ collection celebrates the artistic practice of indigenous tradition. Working with lush natural fibers, all of which are sourced locally, and dyed naturally with minimal environmental impact. Dyes are created from mineral clay, hualle leaves and moss, giving life to the rich earthy palette used in the collection, and expressed from the softest natural white through a range of terracotta and burnt umber hues to charcoal and black. VOZ designs emerge from a lively creative dialogue between sophisticated global design and traditional textile artisans. Through collaborative workshops artisans and designers work together to envision, sample, and create designs for the VOZ collection. True to tradition, each of the patterns have a meaning, with stylized vines and diamond symbols punctuating the graphic chevrons and stripes.
VOZ means “voice” in Spanish, something Aarons hopes to give the talented Mapuche weavers by showcasing their rich visual and artisanal tradition on the international stage. VOZ works with the artisans through collaborative design education and innovation workshops. This dialogue results in meaningful returns, as well as professional development for the women. The workshops help deliver the artisans to new creative frontiers, while providing training in contemporary design and business practices. They are committed to creating beautiful designs, and using innovation to empower women worldwide. As one artisan puts it, “we never thought we had abilities that we were able to share, or that we could create something from our own minds.” VOZ envisions a world where highly skilled artisans are able to generate a sustainable living through their rich ancestral traditions.
VOZ showcased their collection during New York fashion week for the first time in February 2013. Realizing Aarons vision to bring indigenous ceremony, crafting and textiles to the international stage, and connect these gifted indigenous artisans to the global marketplace. Each artisan is credited in the creation of the work, as well as receives royalties from the sale.