Born in Chile into a family of Italian and Spanish immigrants, educated by English ladies in a school that was all about British values and traditions, raised near a port city with a strong multicultural heritage, she has known from her early years the very best of many worlds.
As a self-made slow fashion designer – with studies in fine arts, architecture and culinary arts – she started Alpaca Samka in 2007, working with Aymara weavers from the Andes highlands of Chile. She travelled to many isolated, and it would seem, almost forgotten villages for more than two years, living in harsh conditions between 2,800 and 5,800 meters ( 9,186 – 19,000 feet) above sea level to rescue ancestral weaving and braiding techniques.
Andrea Oneto only works with natural fibres, mostly with alpaca yarns from animals bred in natural pastures, hand spun and hand woven by indigenous women or by her at her studio workshop. Recently she added linen yarns from Crossville (which exports all its production to England) to create her first SS collection. This hand woven blend between alpaca and linen combines the best of two natural fibres.
Her collections are based on traditional Andean methods and British weaving patterns keeping the legacy of both the Andes native peoples and the immigrant pioneers to South America. She values simplicity and authenticity, where less is more, creating timeless collections, quality textiles with an infinite lifespan.
Her work has received a nomination to the “Best Performance in the Sustainable Luxury Awards” and exhibited in important fashion shows such as “Ethical Fashion Show” in Paris and the “Latin Trends”.