The women of Bolivia are strong, empowered and fashionable. Their style is routed in traditional dress, with flourishes of color and embroidery. On the streets of La Paz, you will see the cholitas dressed in an outfit composed of a bowler hat (la bombin), a colorful shawl (la manta) and a long, full skirt (la pollera) with many layers of petticoats underneath. The bowler hat has been seen on people for more than 100 years… Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, even Mr. Potato Head. So how did they end up in Bolivia?
It’s all in the details… take a close look! Our August designs were inspired by the markets of La Paz, Bolivia – a city filled with beautifully embroidered clothing. Everywhere you turn, you see brightly colored shawls, skirts and sweaters. We couldn’t believe how intricate every day wear was. We also had the chance to see traditional folk costumes worn during celebrations. These pieces too were embroidered with beautiful floral designs. Take a look at some of our girl’s pieces that feature our take on Bolivian embroidery.
This fall, we’re bringing a sporty edge to outfitting. Little citizens of all ages, boys and girls, will be able to be able to romp around freely in the newest Tea styles. City life calls for clothing that allows little ones run around without apprehension. Influenced by the versatility we saw in La Paz, you’ll find our fall styles are suitable for any occasion. Love the classic sporty look of a baseball tee? We’ve got just what you’re looking for in classic Tea prints.
The mesmerizing motorcycle. The thrill of zipping through streets… the leather jacket and shiny helmets… the patches and graphics… the loud noises! Whenever we see someone riding a motorcycle, we revert back to that child-like state and the same rush of excitement gets us every time.
The inspiration behind our sweet baby girl prints and graphics stem directly from the street markets of La Paz, Bolivia. We were inspired most by the embroidered folk costumes sold in the mercados and worn by the locals. Each garment has extraordinary detail… embroidered flowers in every color of the rainbow with gilded finishes. We wanted to bring this uniqueness back to our collection, here you’ll see how it shines through our baby girl prints. Learn more about the inspiration behind our pieces below.
Bolivia is a country filled with deeply-rooted people from many different backgrounds and beliefs. There are over 36 different indigenous tribes that make up the population of Bolivia, indigenous meaning they are native to Bolivia, making it the highest percentage of indigenous peoples in all of South America. Most of these tribes have lived in South America for thousands of years.
Whenever we travel to a new destination, we strive to completely immerse ourselves in the local culture as it’s the best way to gain the most authentic and well-rounded experience. We eat where the locals eat, shop where the locals shop and talk to as many people as we can to make real connections. While visiting La Paz, Bolivia, we were immediately drawn to the allure of the mercados (or markets). Early each morning, the streets of La Paz begin to buzz with activity. As the sun rises, women from the indigenous tribes (called cholitas) living in the hills surrounding the town, head towards the city. Dressed in brightly colored traditional clothing, the cholitas set up their shops along the street. They sell everything from produce, handicrafts, souvenirs and meals. We watched as people from different parts of the city came to the town center to shop for their daily meals and household goods. Shopping in La Paz as a tourist can be a hectic experience, but exploring them is a great way to feel like a local. Here is a roundup of the markets we visited and tips on when to go and what to find.