Textile patterns for both men and women are a hot topic among Guatemalans, as the country’s government has sought to promote the textile industry to attract foreign investment.
But while American textile brands are available to Guatemalas, American clothing brands have struggled to enter the market, and with few options, it’s a challenge that looms large in the minds of Guatemalens.
Guatemalan designer Heather Chadduck, whose family runs the apparel company American Textile Patterns, has seen this firsthand.
She says that her company was able to attract international clients through her website and the popularity of the products on Instagram.
The American Textiles Patterns website features photos of American women’s outfits that feature their looks and styles, and the company has also worked with fashion houses like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and M&M’s.
Chadduks main focus for the past year has been expanding her business to include Guatemalan apparel and accessories.
She opened her new store in December 2017 in a historic city that has been a stronghold for Guatemalan textile production.
The American Textil Patterns store in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
She says that since opening the store, the apparel has become popular with Guatemalenos, especially among older women, who may have a hard time finding clothing that fits them.
But even as the apparel is popular among older people, it doesn’t seem to have the same appeal to younger Guatemalen, Chadduks chief marketing officer, Melissa Villar, told the Times.
Chad duck says she hopes her company’s products and the brand’s global reach can appeal to the younger generation as well, as she believes that younger Guatemalan women are more likely to use social media to share their ideas and thoughts about clothes.
“We need to encourage young people to think about their clothing and the brands that are around them, especially with regard to fashion,” she said.
While Guatemalennes are a global fashion destination, the garment industry remains one of the poorest in the world.
The country ranks 30th out of 187 countries in terms of its per capita income, and in 2015, the World Bank estimated that Guatemalena women’s wages were only $2.25 per day.
Chads biggest concern is that as Guatemalayan women become more educated, they may not be able to afford to buy American clothing in the country, so American brands may be forced to find a better way to compete.
“I think there’s an opportunity for American companies to have a foothold in the market and take advantage of Guatemalan culture, the history and the history of American apparel,” she says.
“In the end, it would be a great thing for Guatemala and for American business to take advantage.”
Chad Duck says that the American Textils Patterns website is an important tool in helping her company expand into the Guatemalene market.
She hopes that the website can help to educate American women about the Guatemala textile industry, and that the apparel can help empower young women who may be frustrated by the lack of American options.
“We want to do our best to empower these young women, to make them aware that there are American brands and that there’s a variety of American clothing that they can look at and find good value,” she told the newspaper.
The American textile company also hopes that its new storefront will serve as a platform for local apparel brands to show their work and offer support for local workers, Villar said.