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With collections full of vibrant colors and textures true to her Peruvian roots, Brooklyn-based designer Andrea Bocchio is making waves in Fashion while also making a difference in the world. Since releasing her own small line of knit, crocheted, and woven jewelry in 2012, Bocchio’s pieces have reached select stores and boutiques around the world, and as her sales continue expanding internationally, so does her production. In developing her latest collection, Andrea set out to empower Peruvian artisans and inmates by working with fair trade cooperatives in order to pay her workers fair wages and allow their craftsmanship to shine through her designs.
Her work with the inmates has led Bocchio to transform her brand into a full-scale social enterprise, in which she plans to move 80% of production into Peru by the end of 2015. The wages provided through her new initiative allow these inmates to support their families and also makes them more employable upon release. In a country stricken by poverty, Bocchio’s evolving business plan seeks to help the marginalized and forgotten, and now, she not only delivers the spirits and styles of Peru to consumers throughout the globe, but also enriches the lives of those involved at the most primitive stages of the process.
Beginning her work as a print designer in New York, Andrea Bocchio found relief from her day job in an old, familial hobby—making jewelry. Since those long nights of knitting and beading, Bocchio has expanded her collection of handcrafted designs into numerous lines including necklaces, bracelets, and bags of varied sizes. Often influenced by Peruvian styles, each piece is unique and fashioned with a hand-woven touch. The bold energy exuding from Andrea’s work is painted with the colors of her youth, when she learn knitting from her mother and grandmother. By merging these traditions with her own sleek, cohesive styles, Bocchio’s work caters to those who appreciate original designs and handcrafted flair.
She currently resides in Gowanus, Brooklyn with her six-year-old Havanese dog, Butters. You can follow their stories on Tumblr.