A Chance Meeting With Aguayo
Inpire Co.’s beginnings can be traced back to 2013, when Richard, the project’s founder received a souvenir from Peru. The gift from a 2nd generation Korean in Peru was made with Aguayo fabric, the fabric at the core of Inpire Co., and its colors and texture became a source of inspiration for Richard. The chance meeting was enough to convince Richard of Aguayo’s potential as a fashion brand, and signaled the start of Inpire Co.
A rough patch during the initial development period
Developing a product from Aguayo was not without its challenges. The Aguayo fabric was only available through clothing factories, which carried with it challenges of its own; this led Richard to personally hunt for different sources on the ground in both Peru and Asia for 2 years. Eventually, he was able to develop a brand new method to produce Aguayo fabrics, and in the process raise its awareness through development of several sample products.
Research Trip to Peru
When the first samples were ready, Richard set aside his day job and set off to Peru. To better understand everything that is Aguayo from the manufacturing process, distribution, to its origins within Peruvian and Incan civilization, Richard visited various parts of Peru for a first-hand study of the fabric. The shootings for the first Lookbook of samples produced during the trip also took place during this time.
Completing the Inpire Co. Project Model
Sample production and the research trip became the basis for a new model connecting the fabric’s manufacturers with fashion influencers. Inpire Co. Project’s has maintained the aforementioned model, and our team’s aim is the realization of this model on a large scale.
[The limitations of an Aguayo business]
- Aguayo is a fabric with a long history and tradition, and its unique color scheme and textures have the potential to become a brand icon.
- However, the items utilizing the fabric are limited to souvenir level products due to issues stemming from quality.
- The infrastructure needed for mass production is not established as it is hand made by local ‘Weaving Ladies,’ limiting its supply. At the same time, there are no secure sales points, resulting in the high quality fabrics to be sold at low prices as simple blankets.
[Inpire Co. Project Business Model]
- Designers from developed countries reinterpret the fabric in line with new trends and produce high quality products that go toe-to-toe with luxury brands.
- Create new demand in the market for a never before seen fabric.
- In doing so, ‘Weaving Ladies’ are provided with secure suppliers to sell their work, which in turn gives them a stable source of income to ultimately allow them to live more stable lifestyles.
- The aforementioned steps help maintain a virtuous circle model.
Inpire Co. Project has slowly yet steadily working towards these goals since 2014.