Ah, sweats. Few things could be more perfect for lounging in year-round or even sporting to work. It’s true that over the past year designers have been slimming down the traditional sweatshirt and sweatpant down so you can now wear them outside the home or gym and even pair with a blazer. Yet who hasn’t run into that situation when all you really want is one timeless but stylish piece that flies with everything, feels so comfortable that you never want to take it off, and yet isn’t so precious you don’t want to get it dirty?
Introducing Bolivares, the knitted basics brand out of New York City. Sold exclusively online, the company makes sweaters, tees, tank tops, pants and shorts, but creates them out of luxurious cottons predominantly from Peru in brilliant color for a zesty Latin twist. “Fashion’s not just about style but personality,” insists Lucho Bolivares, who founded the company in 2010 after stints in club promoting. Deciding to pursue his passion for the fashion trade, he packed his bags for South America and lived in Peru and Colombia for six months to lay the groundwork for his business and get schooled in the craft of textiles. Today, Bolivares blends South American handcrafted techniques and fabrics with his native New Yorker’s street sensibility to create something casual yet luxurious and modern in feel, with color as one of its signatures.
“I admire Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, Yohji Yamamoto and even Marc Jacobs. These are all designers that are introducing good quality, whether it’s high-tech. But I’m just trying to do leisurewear that’s functional for the guy that’s on the move. Those are the people I’m focusing on,” the designer explains, calling sweaters his go-to niche. “You can have the same fiber and yarn for three styles, but if you have a different stitch, it can behave differently. And you’re not feeling overdressed or underdressed when you wear a sweater.” New for this season are exquisite knitted tank tops and shorts (above), printed tees in pastels, and lighter gauge knits with graphic elements inspired by New York; but as the designer hints, Bolivares will pick up more steam when it releases accessories including scarves and hats for the fall and opens its first store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in September. Says Lucho, “I feel like we’ve all seen the same things from people. I just thought a Latin American fusion would be fresh.”