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Holt Renfrew Uncrates South America


On Thursday September 29th my friend Jade and I headed to Yorkville for the launch of H Project’s Uncrate South America. That evening Toronto fashionistas flocked to Holt Renfrew to attend a soiree that had the luxurious retail space transformed with the colours, sights and sounds of the Andes.

I’ve not yet visited South America but interest in the region has always tickled me. As a wee one I was eager to explore mystical ancient ruins and the birthplace of sweet chocolate. One of my favourite TV shows growing up was Les Mystérieuses Cites d’Or (The Mysterious Cities of Gold), a program that sought to educate kids about South America through archeology, history and science fiction. 

H Project’s Uncrate South America first began with a trip earlier this year led by Holt Renfrew’s Director of Brand & Creative Strategy Alexandra Weston who visited Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador to source products that promote positive change. The trip enabled her to create a bridge between traditional indigenous craftsmanship and Holt Renfrew’s design partners. The collection consists of handwoven Panama Hats made from organic toquilla straw, to naturally dyed, spun and woven apparel, bringing folk tapestry and fashion to Canada’s luxury retailer.

Prior to the party there was an intimate talk moderated by Andrew Sardone, Editorial Director at Globe Style along with Alexandra Weston and a handful of Uncrate South America’s designers. The passionate conversation shed light on women coming together to facilitate the multiplicity of the fashion industry in remote places and the work of women within diverse cultures and traditions. By doing so, we got a taste of what it is like to adventure to Bolivia’s Salt Flats, wander through the architectural marvel that is Machu Picchu and hike the awe-inspiring Andes Mountains in Ecuador.

Holt Renfrew’s events team wowed guests by bringing to life highlights of the trip including a swing that mimicked Ecuador’s “swing at the end of the world”, Bolivia’s Salt Flats, equipped with its own oxygen bar to aid people with high altitude sickness and a dazzling display featuring a choir of festive Llamas and sea of pretty pom pom.

Late into the evening DJ Matt Hall offered a latin spin to popular American beats while the culinary team at Holts Cafe served up citrus spritzed ceviche, chunky guacamole scooped up with crispy plantain, piping hot beef empanadas and a parade of boozy Pisco Sours (Peru’s national tipple) shaken at the bar with eager enthusiasm.

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By Vlad Alexis

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