What do Paddington Bear, alpacas and the potato all have in common?

Peru has a rich and fertile history, both culturally and economically. Although often best known globally for being the birth-place of Paddington Bear, its past exports have ranged from guano, rubber and alpaca wool to the humble potato. The Peruvian influence can be felt across the globe, albeit nowadays in a more colourful way, through the cultural channels of fashion, photography and textiles.

From the Norte Chico to the Chan Chan to the Inca emperors, Peru is one of the oldest civilisations in the world. The indigenous people, rural Amerindians are complemented by an amalgamation of European ancestry that has led to a mixing-pot of culture, that lends itself to the diverse styles, customs and traditions that wield their influence over international culture.

You likely won’t have missed the Peruvian influence thus far on the fashion landscape. The textures, hues and geometric patterns in the forms of ponchos, knitted hats and decorative textile-based jewellery are awash in high-street retailers, and have even graced the pages of Vogue.  

Vogue Paris. Mario Testino. 2013. Vogue.in

IAG Cargo are involved in all forms of exporting and importing, including delicate handling of cultural art forms. So much so, that they are sponsoring the “Weavers of the Clouds: Textile Arts of Peru” exhibition taking place at the Fashion and Textile museum in London. It takes a look at the history, production processes and contemporary influence that Peruvian customs have inspired, from Vivienne Westwood to Naeem Khan. The exhibition is running now, until the 8th of September.

Through the IAG Cargo network of 5 airlines, including British Airways and Iberia, there are daily flights to Lima from Madrid and twice weekly from London. Why not take a look at how IAG Cargo helps in transporting culture across the globe, with their latest partnership with the British Museum.