Peruvian Connection Ventures Into Home

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Peruvian Connection, known for its artisan-made apparel collections, alpaca coats and knits, is venturing into the home category with a bedding collection.

The mixed-print sets of cotton sateen sheets and duvets, woven and knit alpaca throws and pillows, printed velvet pillows and matelassé cotton coverlets with shams, $115 to $430, will be available in Peruvian Connection retail stores and online beginning in July. Designed in-house — the company is based just outside Kansas City, Mo. — the 15-piece collection incorporates new and archival prints based on Andean weavings and other “ethnographic textiles” that have inspired founder Annie Hurlbut Zander over the years.

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Hurlbut, a Yale-educated anthropologist who launched the brand while living in Peru in 1976, has had a lifelong obsession with textiles, amassing a collection of antique rugs, tapestries, quilts and wall hangings from around the world. Since Peruvian Connection opened its first brick-and-mortar retail in 2008, she has turned her interior decorating passion to the brand’s eight stores, including the newest outpost in Aspen, outfitting them with smoke-stained Victorian wallpaper, vintage cash wraps, and Andean textiles— all reminiscent of those in her own home.

“The idea for bedding has been incubating for years…the general inspiration came from my own personal experience of living a layered existence with all the things I’ve been collecting around me,” Hurlbut told WWD, sharing that it was a meeting with two veterans of Ralph Lauren Home that spurred her on. She eventually hired them as consultants on the project. “We didn’t have experience making sheets and didn’t want to make any mistakes,” Hurlbut added, noting that the coordinating styles, inspired by South American and Asian textiles, reflect the brand’s global character.

“When we started the company, my mom and I, I was living in Peru in the 1970s, and originally all of our inspiration was from Peru. Then as time went by, you fall in love with things from all over the world, with the one common thread being that they are made by human hands.”

She hopes the product extension will be the first of many. “I have preliminary plans for everything from notecards to wallpaper with our unique prints.…We’ve never been one of those mushroom businesses, but year after year, we’ve managed to grow — not just by designing beautiful things but things that fit people, have consistency and quality and hand finishing, that’s what we do,” she said.

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