"I was born in the city of Cuzco, and my parents are Sebastián López y Benita Cutipa López [a Novica featured artisan], pioneers in the field of knitted textiles. I grew up amid art and wool...
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"I was born in the city of Cuzco, and my parents are Sebastián López y Benita Cutipa López [a Novica featured artisan], pioneers in the field of knitted textiles. I grew up amid art and wool as my parents created new ways to produce alpaca wool clothing. For 15 years I lived with the art of my family and drew close to their projects.
"I eventually went off to Lima to study. Growing up as I did, I found myself naturally inclined toward this art, and decided to major in fashion design. Thanks to my family, I was able to go to London after graduation, where I specialized in fashion design at the Marangoni Institute (the Marangoni Institute is a highly-regarded fashion design school in Milan and London).
"I returned to Peru and worked at creating a new line of clothing with the same goals as my parents had – to create art with fine wool and to provide jobs for the people of my town, for whom I feel a deep respect and appreciation. Their objectives weren't only about money. When I was growing up, Peru was going through a crisis in economics and national security. Terrorism was the greatest threat to economic growth. My parents' workshop was able to employ a number of people who saw knitting and weaving as their only saleable skills.
"My greatest satisfaction as a professional person was to work as the head of production for the Proyecto Cluster Artesanal de Puno, a project sponsored by the Peruvian government and the Lima Association of Exporters. Its goal was to link small workshops or groups of artisans with exporters who could market their work. It was there that I became aware of the reality of the artisans. And we were able to organize business sessions and fashion shows to demonstrate the potential of alpaca garments. I no longer work with this project but I was able to generate support for many workshops and this gives me great personal satisfaction.
"Today I work as a textile designer in alpaca wool, developing new fashion collections. And I work together with my parents in the crafting of alpaca wool clothing."