Shilpa Shah, Co-Founder and CXO with Karla Gallardo, Co-Founder and CEO of Cuyana
Its motto is “fewer, better things,” and that’s what Cuyana delivers: finely crafted clothing and accessories that are chic and durable.
Located across from Williams-Sonoma, Cuyana’s popup store will be open through the holidays and may lead to a permanent location at NorthPark.
“Our big point of difference is we have products that last for people and that they buy mindfully,” says co-founder and chief experience officer Shilpa Shah. “Our whole thing is, ‘Don’t buy things on sale unintentionally – things you don’t need.’”
The six-year-old company manufactures all of its merchandise with attention to detail.
Producing in New York and about seven nations, Cuyana often sources materials in the same country for speed, environmental impact and the ability to pass cost savings on to consumers.
Classic Leather Zipper Tote in Pearl Grey, $195
Cuyana’s $195 zippered tote, for instance, is made in Argentina using pebble leather from the same nation. The bestselling $160 oversize alpaca sweater is made in Peru of locally shorn fleece, and the $65 Panama hat is handwoven with toquilla straw in Ecuador, where the style has always been produced.
(Why the misnomer? Ecuadorians distributed their hats primarily in Panama, and President Theodore Roosevelt was photographed wearing one while inspecting progress on digging the Panama Canal.)
Lightweight Reversible Knitted Coat in Light Grey/Ecru, $295
Cuyana also offers silk separates and dresses, luscious cashmere sweaters, double-faced cashmere outerwear and lots of accessories, including scarves, structured handbags, wallets, travel bags and the signature $175 Italian leather tote that put the brand on the map.
Many of the items can be monogrammed on site with initials, hearts, stars and shamrocks.
Cuyana x La Ligne Suede Hobo in Cognac/Crimson, $395
In addition, there’s a capsule collection designed with La Ligne, the new American brand by two former Vogue editors. A lovely cognac suede hobo bag is among the highlights.
Shah started the company in San Francisco with fellow millennial Karla Gallardo, who hails from Ecuador. Both were mathematicians hungering for design, and both hold M.B.A. degrees.
They named their creation Cuyana, which means “love” in Quechua, Karla’s native language.