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After launching six stores across the US and a shop in London, Peruvian Connection can now call the Upper West Side home, too. The Kansas-based brand's newest shop — filled with ethnographic prints, manta stripes, and hand-loomed Alpaca wool knits — is located on Columbus Avenue, right near Eileen Fisher and not too far from Shake Shack. Maybe you've shopped from their catalogue in the past (about ten million are mailed each year), but nothing really beats seeing Peruvian Connection's tribal-inspired clothing up close and personal, where each and every piece speaks for itself.
The store comes to New York nearly forty years after a write-up in the New York Times helped fuel the brand's then mail-order business with virtual overnight success. Since the majority of PC's earliest customers lived in the city, it seemed odd that they waited this long to bring a store here. But as co-founder Annie Hurlbut, who fell in love with the South American aesthetic during an anthropological visit as a Yale student, explained to Racked, "we wanted to make sure that we had a lot of experience before we came here. It's a very competitive and tough market, but it's also a brilliant market for us."
Choosing the Upper West Side was pretty much a no-brainer for Annie. "It just felt like home," she said, adding that a big draw to the neighborhood was the proximity to one of her favorite places in the city, the Museum of Natural History. The brand plans to host a fundraiser early next year that'll involve an exclusive collection of pieces based on abstractions of objects found at the museum.
Aside from all of the hand-loomed Peruvian Alpaca wool sweaters and Moroccan printed pima cotton maxis that you'll find here, it's worth a trip even just to see the actual space. The building dates back to the late 1800's, and not much has been altered — the original archways, bricks, and hardwood floors all still remain. While you're at it though, make sure look out for the Nuvuk Alpaca blanket coat ($350) — it's Annie's favorite piece, and it probably won't be there for very long.