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Fashion Glossies in Peru

August 21, 2013

I’m writing this post on an overnight bus to Cuzco! This rig is equipped with fully-reclining seats, complimentary coca tea, and wifi. Not exactly a rough journey. It was pretty wild skyping with my mom while riding through the highlands. Anyway, I figured I’d get some blogging in… seeing as I have 8 hours to kill!

Since arriving in Peru I’ve been curious to see what women are reading in terms of fashion magazines. You probably already know that Peru is an up-and-coming country in many ways, including textiles and fashion.

As I’ll detail in a near-future post, the alpaca fiber industry is one of Peru’s most successful exports. The Saga Falabella catalogue I posted the other day is one great example of a major Peruvian style-influencer owning its cultural heritage. However, I’ve also seen some abysmal runway shows and brand presences that prove this country has a long way to go before they’re on the fashion industry radar to stay.

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So where are women turning for fashion and lifestyle advice? The usual suspects can be found easily at bodegas and in bookstores: an international spectrum of Vogue, Elle, Cosmo, etc. But there are a few locally produced magazines that I wanted to investigate. They’re wrapped in plastic on the stands, so I just had to wing it and buy one to begin my search.

The first magazine I grabbed was Para Ti.

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The cover, though a little model-mayhem-looking, was intriguing. A chiseled model with a maroon head wrap and diamonds for eyebrows? Surely the cover shoot would be worth a flip-through.

The cover shoot, however, ended up being a series of beauty shots scattered throughout the issue to represent different stories. Para Ti is a life style magazine, it turns out. Fashion content was limited to a very awkward what-to-wear spread involving a floor length gown and a business suit jacket, a write-up on a recent Chanel runway show, and a round-up of a fashion films.

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Not a bad mix, but it felt a little bit random. The magazine then launches right into a cosmo-esque home gym routine, endless cosmetics round-ups, and page after page of beauty content.

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Delicious looking soup recipes are next, followed by a misleading article about New York City’s “hot new neighborhood” NoMad (North of Madison Square Park), which is just a hotel, and not actually a thing. Unless I’m missing something. Fellow New Yorkers, feel free to chime in.

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Finally, we wrap up with pop culture and celebrity content, making this a well rounded lifestyle glossy, but not really a fashion magazine.

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Luckily Raffa’s cousin Lilly had just picked up a fashion mag of her own and was at the kitchen table reading it when I walked in that same evening. I probably should have asked her for recommendations before I bought Para Ti—but then again, exploring is half the fun.

Seeing my magazine distress, she slid a copy of Vanidades across the table—one of the most popular Spanish language magazines for women. With a headquarters located in Mexico, Peru has its own local issue. I was pretty impressed with the quality of the content. Unsurprisingly, given the mag’s history, the design is right up to par with Vogue and Elle… though the cover was more of the high school art project variety.

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These editorials were styled by Peruvian stylists and they seem to have a clear vision, though they’re a bit one track minded. I think they’re pretty creative though.

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And of course, they pay tribute to the classics: expensive jewelry, modern interior design, and celebrity pop culture with a twist: royals and iconic French film stars. Finally, we wrap up with an aspirational island getaway.

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From these two examples you can tell Peruvian fashion magazines are up-and-coming, but they’re on track to create an inspirational image of lifestyle for the women who read them. I’d love to see more focus on creative, chic dressing and personal style in the future.

What do you think? Which country’s glossies do you love to browse?

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