As the pictures continue to roll in from Milan, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the sensibility of it all. Demure backdrops of grays, full shows of clothes you’d wear without hesitation. It was quickly turning into an impeccably dressed snoozefest.
Until Thom Browne showed up for his Moncler Gamme Bleu presentation with a winter forest, a smoke machine and jousting poles—yes, there was jousting on the catwalk. As casual observers of the entire spectacle happening overseas, this is the kind of stuff we’ve been hoping for. Kilts be damned.
The finest sweaters were born out of cultural necessity: the fisherman sweaters of the Fair Isles, the hieroglyphic-like knit Cowichan sweaters, J.Press Shaggy Dogs...
And if you were to combine them all into one sweater, you’d get something close to the Andean alpaca sweater. Coincidentally, this new collection of Bolivian alpaca sweaters from Industry of All Nations has some especially handsome examples of the 3,000-year-old craft. Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: The gents at Industry of All Nations have traveled the world, seeking out small factories and co-ops of local artisans making quality wares—from espadrilles in South America to jeans in India. Their latest discovery was this small knitting collective in Bolivia that’s making authentic alpaca sweaters the same way they’ve been doing it for centuries—except with an updated fit and exclusive color patterns—while giving back to their community.
Who to Channel: A turn-of-the-century backpacker, hiking up Machu Picchu; a worldly philanthropist with a penchant for hypoallergenic wool; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
When to Wear It: Consider this the holiday sweater you can wear year-round (as long as it’s cold enough outside).
Degree of Difficulty: With such a versatile piece, there should be little to no difficulty subbing this in any sweater-related situation—over an oxford, under a blazer, with jeans, with trousers. Just go for it.