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Geraniums burst into vibrant colors over a brown floral cardigan from Peru. By Benita Cutipa, the cardigan is knitted of alpaca, long favored for its warm, soft warmth. Seven coconut shell buttons fasten the florid cardigan.
"I always wanted to participate in programs that would empower our women… I decided to offer classes to people from marginalized neighborhoods, training them in handicrafts."
Born in Cuzco on June 27, 1946, Benita Cutipa de Lopez received a teaching degree in home economics that included pattern making, sewing, knitting, embroidery, manual arts and pastries. "I always knew I wanted to do something that would help my country's development," she says. "I always wanted to participate in programs that would empower our women, and I began organizing courses for groups of mothers and farm wives from the Puno highlands. At the time, they were experiencing a severe drought."
Even after marrying and forming her own family, she never lost sight of these ideals. "I decided to offer classes to people from marginalized neighborhoods, training them in handicrafts and forming cottage industries that would work with the region's natural resources. I chose alpaca wool as a medium to make garments."
Cutipa is a much-loved person in Peru. She has participated in many, many craft fairs and has won awards that include the prestigious Hatun Raymi for her designs in alpaca wool. "I love my work, and am thrilled to be able to do what I love most, while at the same time providing a livelihood for my assistants, other women of my country," she confides. "My family works with me. I love the idea of joining forces with Novica and hope you like our work. Thank you!"
The Winter Midnight scarf I ordered is for a holiday gift. So impressed, I'll be ordering another. This alpaca piece is unique in its lightweight detail and can be worn throughout 3 seasons in the Northeast... Beautiful, and incredibly functional. What more can a girl want?
The fineness and wearability of Benita Cutipa's knits is amazing. I purchased a cinnamon coloured skirt for my aunt who normally can't bear to wear wool and she loves it. She said she gets a lot of compliments and enquiries as to where she got her lovely skirt. I purchased the same skirt for myself and I think it will be a wardrobe staple. I think Benita's classic designs suit all ages and are a great investment for anyone's work or casual wardrobe.
I have received the alpaca hooded coat. It is very light but warm. I love the collar /scarf. It is very ingenious because it helps closing the coat and warm the neck at the same time. The boucle knit is very beautiful and unique as they loop around and form the coat. Thank you very much. It was a very nice looking and practical coat for fall and spring.