Boccaccio reflects the grace and resilience of the alpaca in her brand of luxurious and creative merchandise.

The logo for Alpaca International represents the principles and passion of owner Zia Boccaccio-Cotgreave. “I was seven years old when I had a spiritual awakening of sorts,” she recollects. While on a horse trip through Cordillera Huayhuash in the Peruvian Andes with her family, Zia glimpsed an alpaca framed by the mountainous peaks. The image revved her internal compass, alerting her to the intense connection between the alpaca and the history of her country’s people.

Alpacas have been a powerful symbol of Andean civilization for thousands of years. While the Incan culture revered the animal for its meat and fleece (the currency of the Incas was textiles), the Spanish conquistadors failed to recognize their value, instigating widespread slaughter of the alpaca in order to subjugate the domestic cultures. The natives secretly salvaged a small number of the alpacas and moved them to the remote and barren altiplano, where the species ultimately thrived and continued producing some of the most precious fiber (“the gold of the Andes”) on the planet.

At Alpaca International, Boccaccio reflects the grace and resilience of the alpaca in her brand of luxurious and creative merchandise. Highly distinctive shawls, capes, coats, and sweaters reflect the superior attributes of the alpaca fiber. Hand-finished embellishments and accessories exhibit the skilled workmanship of the local Peruvian designers Boccaccio has selected to craft her vision. Her pieces are fun, functional, and feminine—timeless elegance wrapped up in cherished thermal Andean textiles.

Boccaccio too is an export from Peru and brings her South American savvy, sophistication, and ethic to her business practices. A background in retail and a dedication to sharing the mystical and tangible beauty of the alpaca with North America resulted in the founding of Alpaca International in 2004. In only three short years, she had opened four retail shops (Washington, D.C.; Annapolis, MD; Cusco, Peru; and Park City, UT), each supplying her high-quality collections and accessories to a loyal (and often jet-setting) following.

Alpaca International’s expansion continues as, in May, Boccaccio opened another location in Juneau, Alaska. A frontier location reflects the pioneering spirit of the alpaca and Boccaccio’s native people. Still, her zeal for working in Park City won’t diminish with the founding of a faraway shop. “It’s a joy to work in Park City,” she remarks. “I’ve fallen in love with this area.”

Alpaca International: 614 Main Street,
Park City, 435-658-0155

Previous articleHeber Valley Events – Summer / Fall 2012
Next articleHaute Hostess