A NEW VOICE
Voz, whose name means “voice” in Spanish, wants to bring its first fully artisan-designed collection to New York Fashion Week and the Coterie trade show in February. It’s a costly endeavor, one that Voz hopes to offset with funds raised through IndieGoGo. Aarons’ goal currently stands at $20,000, a sum that will go towards quality, ethically harvested materials (llama and alpaca wool, silk, cotton, and natural dyes), living wages for its weavers, the maintenance of its small studio in rural Chile, and the cost of exhibiting and promoting the line in the United States.
Voz, according to Aarons, is the antithesis of the cheap, cookie-cutter knockoffs endemic to mainstream fashion.
Voz, according to Aarons, is the antithesis of the cheap, cookie-cutter knockoffs endemic to mainstream fashion. “The Mapuche weavers we work with are generally of the last generation who remember how to weave or what their symbols mean in our community, and this is not uncommon, since younger generations see craft as a such a difficult life path,” she tells Ecouterre. “Design innovation helps weavers continue practicing, rescuing, and cultivating their native art forms by connecting them to broader audiences and helping them stand apart from the competition.”
Among the hallmarks of Voz’s philosophy is the concept of collaborative design. An international team of designers works with Voz’s artisan partners to translate their ancient knowledge of fibers, dyes, and motifs into contemporary items. A group of 27 weavers and seamstresses bring the final designs to life.
Among the hallmarks of Voz’s philosophy is the concept of collaborative design.
Voz isn’t just adept building upon existing human resources, however. The company also knows how to harness Chile’s natural riches. “At a time of extreme consumption and toxicity in the systems that comprise our society, we desperately need to incorporate indigenous wisdom into the way we make and use things,” Aarons explains. To keep its environmental footprint to a minimum, Voz sources everything locally, from the lustrous Andean fibers to its plant- and mineral-extracted dyes.
“We believe in a new future for fashion, one in which old wisdom, sexy style, cutting-edge innovation, and global problem-solving can occur within the same extraordinary dialogue,” Aarons tells us. “Every artisan and part of our team has sacrificed immeasurably to come this far, and with the community’s support, Voz can produce a fashion collection worthy of challenging the status quo, with beauty, grace, vision, and all of our hopes wrapped in every thread.”