photo by Mario Testino
Born in Lima, Peru, Giuliana Testino initiated her career in the arts with a degree in architecture succeeded by several years of selling and designing jewelry. Inspired by the culture and the colors of her homeland she decided to develop her own line of knitwear and accessories. Her first collection debuted during London Fashion Week with an intimate breakfast presentation to an exclusive list of invites. Over time, her sketches evolved to what is now an exquisite array of women's apparel. All of her work is handcrafted, using techniques of crochet, hand knitting, macramé, and embroidery.
Giuliana Testino emphasizes on an actual garment for the individual rather than the collection, as a statement piece that is timeless, a concept that is beyond trends and commercial need.
"I focus on quality rather than quantity, for women that want a unique staple, and concentrate on designs that contain a theme versatile for many looks-a cardigan, usable with office wear, a Sunday in the park cover-up and /or an item to throw over leggings. I believe fashion is in this moment, with a return to basics, where the design's purity is what counts in order to make a look feel real and beautiful.
I offer handmade crocheted quality, crafted with keen attention to fine detail, the same type of quality from the past, when if you buy a well made garment it's impeccable and maintains a chic appeal forever. I believe a properly constructed garment not only withstands wear and tear, it also carries an identity that is valuable regardless of its label.
With the resurrection of the small boutique present, special made-to-order products represent a characteristic way, where each piece is unique. As a business that caters to the individual client, I entertain the idea of reinventing last years look with our in-house atelier."
Testino creates one-of-a kind garments where no two pieces are identical. Due to the craft and element of handmade knitwear, each item has an identity of its own, with some designs that can take up to one month to complete. She uses only natural fibers of mercerized pima cotton and baby alpaca blends, with a majority of the shades free of chemical and synthetic dyes. The alpacas live at 14000 feet above sea level, where contamination is almost non existant due to the agrestal territory.
Testino believes a properly managed business exists where all the employees develop with the same intensity administering respect to the environment. She employs women in the highlands and the outskirts of Lima, offering a transitional path into everyday society."I strive to give a fair salary even if my price isn't competitive with the net potential-ultimately my interest lies with my artisans and their ability to build a better life".
"I think everything is changing, as always there are cycles and fashion is not the exception, it is now arriving to a new period, where common sense and humanity should prevail".