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Tomas Sota

"All that I am and all I do today was learned from my father. He taught me how to design and create apparel."

"My name is Tomas Sota Gutierrez and I was born in Cuzco in 1967. I consider myself to be responsible, hard-working and... honest.

"All that I am and all I do today was learned from my father. He taught me how to design and create apparel. When I was a little boy, I'd go to the workshop with him. He'd pull up a stool so I could watch and learn how he used his tools. I learned to iron and to turn belt loops, among many other simple tasks. As time went by, he turned more and more of the work over to me.

"By the time I was 12, I could make children's pants and even made my own clothes. It was incredible being able to spend all that time with my father. By observing, I learned that getting the things you need in life isn't easy. We have to work hard, wake up early, be reliable and above all, do everything with passion to achieve our goals.

"When I turned 18, I didn't have a way to buy materials for work or even cover my expenses. It was so hard. My son was born and his mother died that same day. This had a strong impact on me but also gave me the strength and push I needed to overcome my obstacles and go forward with my son and my job.

"After learning in my father's workshop, I researched pattern making and well-known designers or artists with a history in fashion and design. I had to create each prototype, make the pattern, control and evaluate or test the design based on the measurements of an average person. However, at the end of the day, the person who wears a design will give you the best feedback.

"For my apparel, I use alpaca fleece. My inspiration is born from the deepest part of my soul. Every day, I work on creating new designs and details that can distinguish my work. I'm quite observant and am very attentive to everything happening around me. I'm closely involved in all of the processes from start to finish.

"It's very important for me to teach others all I've learned so that people interested in this art can become independent and achieve their dreams.

"My plans and hopes for the future are to make sure my creations reach more people around the world so they can have a bit of Peru through my designs."
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