Ruanas and Ponchos on the Runway

by Stuart Cohen on August 20, 2019

Confession: we do not track the fashion trends as reported by Vogue. Like most people, when we’re shopping for next year’s alpaca sweater or cashmere cardigan, we’re looking for something that’s beautiful, yet not so far off the fashion spectrum that it looks like a clown outfit.

Which brings us to thesealpaca ponchos and ruanas. We were told they are “trending," so we dutifully rushed on to the internet to see what the buzz was all about. Sure enough, wool ponchos, ruana wraps, and even an astounding (for lack of a better term) man poncho, flounced down the runway at the relevant New York fashion week. Designers such as Gucci, Chloe and Valentino are doing every manner of poncho wrap and winter cape imaginable, and, as you’ll see below, a few that weren’t imaginable. Make no mistake; we are not ridiculing these garments. We applaud their boldness and creativity, and would love to see them on the street in our town. And lest we forget, they share the same DNA as our own alpaca wool ponchos and ruanas: dating back to the Peruvian ponchos of Paracas culture more than 2000 years ago. Indeed, if the ancient style mavens of Pre-Columbian Peru were to step out of their mummy bundles and grab a front row seat at New York Fashion week, I am sure they would be puzzled, but pleased.

Wool poncho from Parisian designer Chloe.

Chloe Ruana

Gucci... Wrap? Cape? Ruana?

Gucci ruana

Blended alpacaponcho from Maison Margiela. Notice the little bag modeled after the traditional Andean coca leaf bag,the chuspa.

MM6 Alpaca Poncho Ruana

Man ponchofrom Valentino.Valentino Man Poncho

Man Poncho from Bolivia. Now that's style!

Traditional Bolivian Alpaca Poncho


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