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Peruvian Craftsmanship Meets California Freshness In LOTI’s Dreamy, Upcycled Designs

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LOTI’s Sonoma Dress.

LOTI

Lottie Bertello’s brand, LOTI, has created a dreamland where California style meets Peruvian workmanship, fine art, and environmental responsibility.

The trained textile designerThis year, her label was launched from Lima (Peru). She originally started to explore the idea of creating a company three years ago while she was working in a large corporation. fashionLos Angeles, California. At the time, sustainable fashionBrands were just emerging on the scene. Bertello, who was already interested in climate change activism, social justice and sustainability, said that designers’ creativity with sustainable materials, manufacturing methods, and garment design opened her eyes to a new type of garment production: one that doesn’t create waste.

LOTI’s Sonoma Dress.

LOTI

She said that she learned a lot about the industry while working in it.fashionCompanies are located in “how they push overconsumption”They pollute the Earth by creating products they know they won’t sell and that they know they will.

“All these things just started feeling off to me,”Bertello stated that she didn’t learn enough about the negative impacts of the industry while studying at Savannah School of Art and Design. She was able to do this by herself once she was in the real world.

“I think it’s time for schools to be teaching that to their students so they can be fully aware of what they’re going into,”She spoke.

LOTI’s Calistoga Dress.

LOTI

Bertello quit her job and went to Peru to find artisans. She then started LOTI in Los Angeles with a goal of creating unique, feminine, zero waste pieces that would go well with the laid-back, polished vibes of East Coast.

Today, her Calistoga top, Napa top, and zero-waste bucket cap are some of her bestsellers. Each is made of discarded button-down men’s shirts and screen-printed with a delicate, graphic floral print by Bertello. LOTI’s main color story is light summer blues, but some styles are also available in a fresh, citrusy-green.

Upcycling journey

Bertello knew sustainability was a top priority when she began building her brand. The way Bertello landed on upcycling is both relatable, and inspiring.

The designerShe reminisces about the time she went to Goodwill years ago to look for pre-owned vintage items. As she browsed through racks of clothes she noticed the men’s dress shirt. “It was so beautifully set up and all the shirts felt like they were brand new,”She said. She suddenly picked up more than 300 shirts and paid for them.

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“I knew I wanted to find a specific item that I could deconstruct and reconstruct, and it just felt like an ‘Aha!’ moment,”She recalled. “I told myself I would have three to six months to kind of experiment with them and see what I could do—and I quickly loved it.”

LOTI’s Calistoga Dress.

LOTI

In those first few months, there was a lot to do. designerThose mistakes and trials are what ultimately shaped LOTI. Bertello stated that even though she may use different fabrics or techniques later on in her career, upcycling will still be at the core of LOTI. She’ll continue to think of ways to transform mens shirts into statement pieces of clothing for women.

Bertello’s dedication to upcycling drives her color choices.

“I think a regular clothing brand has no limitations, in the sense that they can just pick whatever fabric they want and put whatever print and pick whatever color,” Bertello said, “and we are… I don’t know if the right word is limited, because it doesn’t truly feel like a limitation, it feels like the materials guide our collections in a very organic way.”

LOTI’s Sonoma Dress and Zero-Waste Sun Hat.

LOTI

Bertello stated that she felt it was the best way to go about upcycling, rather than using new, eco-friendly fabric. Bertello said that sustainability is important when it comes to her personal life. fashionThere are many things to consider and it’s important to take into account all of them. designerto find out what their most important values are and how they relate to their brand.

“For me, textile waste reduction has always been a big thing,”She spoke.

She is also passionate about protecting the environment and includes a seed paper tag with every item. The paper is eco-friendly and embedded with wildflower, herb, or vegetable seeds. When the seeds are planted in a container of soil or in a garden it will germinate and turn into plants or flowers.

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“I didn’t want trash as my packaging, even if it was beautiful trash,”She spoke.

Production and team 

All LOTI’s pieces can be made to order. This means that the team will only make what has been purchased. “happy home to go to,” Bertello said. They also plan their new releases and fabric restocks based upon each month’s sales.

“It’s tiny batches because that’s just the nature of the upcycling,” Bertello said. “So there will never be a lot of waste at all.”

LOTI’s Sonoma Dress in Two Styles

LOTI

The LOTI is a very simple game. “team”Bertello was the only one, but now Bertello has a small team of employees and collaborators in Peru. Bertello found independent seamstresses through Gamarra’s garment district in Lima.

“It’s a beautiful, bizarre, chaotic space filled with fabrics and seamstresses and screen printers and everything else you can think of,” Bertello said.

The designerShe does not work in factories because everything is still very much on a smaller scale for her brand. But she couldn’t have been happier with the group creatives who help her run LOTI.

“There is so much creativity coming out of Peru right now it’s insane,” Bertello said. “Through this process I’ve met so many designers, artists, photographers whose talents go beyond the stereotypes of Peru and what that looks like.”

LOTI’s Napa top, and zero-waste scrunchie.

LOTI

Peruvian manufacturing, Cali style

One of the many things Bertello is battling as a new founder in the industry is the cliché that because she was born in Peru and her clothes are manufactured there, she has to constantly mirror the aesthetic of traditional Inca fashionPromote her brand as Peruvian-inspired

“There is this cliché that when you think of Peruvian culture you think of this very specific woven textile that ties back to the Inca culture and whatnot, and that’s all great, but I think Peru is so much more than that,” Bertello said. “Sticking to just creating clothes that directly represent your country in an aesthetic way feels incredibly limiting for me.”

Bertello is proud to be from her roots and supports her country. But she doesn’t believe that this has to be reflected in her designs.

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“I think I’m representing Peru and Lima by amplifying the voices of my seamstresses and the people that I work with over there and putting them at the forefront of our brand,” Bertello said.

LOTI Calistoga dresses.

LOTI

Apart from her upbringing and time spent studying in Savannah, Georgia, Bertello’s design has been greatly influenced by her experiences living in Los Angeles.

“Since I moved to California—I’ve been in LA almost five years now—I’ve been very inspired by the effortless dressing that exists here,”She spoke. “Before, I would wear a lot of black and very rigid silhouettes, and I think living in California has changed my personal style a lot and influenced the brand aesthetic.”

With LOTI, she tries to keep things light and girly—without being cheesy. “We try to use feminine details—for example, a puff sleeve, but make it drop so that it’s a little more easy to wear,”She spoke of the elegant sleeves in her Calistoga gown.

LOTI’s Sonoma Dress.

LOTI

A lot of the inspiration for LOTI also comes from the founder’s one true muse: her mom. “She’s very elegant, easy, effortless. She reminds me a little bit of the Carolina Herrera woman,” Bertello said. “And I grew up with that … you know, that classic white shirt, a little oversized, some accessories here and there. I’m really inspired by versatile dressing and my mom has always brought that to the forefront.”

The designer’s personal style looks very much like her mother’s. She loves clean shapes, subdued and happy colors, and silhouettes which can shine in different settings.

She is also the first one to admit that she is LOTI’s key customer. A free spirit who respects Mother Nature, pristine designHonestly, she just wants to be pretty.

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