Vendor Spotlight: LOTI

Loti Bertello, owner of LOTI
Lottie Bertello (owner)

Originally from Lima, Peru, and currently based in Los Angeles, Lottie Bertello is the founder and design director at LOTI, a brand redefining upcycling. LOTI works alongside a small team of independent Peruvian seamstresses in Lima, Peru to create small batch, responsibly made garments using materials that would otherwise become waste.

White upcycled dress by LOTI

How did you become a creator / business owner?

I honestly never thought I'd be a business owner, let alone have my own "fashion" brand. Working in the industry as a designer, I quickly realized if I wanted to create clothing with a purpose, I would have to create my own path- Cue in the start of LOTI. Textile waste reduction and garment worker rights have been at the forefront of what I consider two of the most important pieces of the industry I wanted to address via my business, which is why LOTI operates as an Upcycling studio rather than a regular clothing brand and we work directly with independent seamstresses in Peru, where I'm originally from. These are the building blocks of the brand and are at the core of everything we do and how we operate our business.

Pink upcycled dress by LOTI

Favorite part about running your business?

Connecting with others! I've met the coolest and most inspiring humans through the brand that I wouldn't have met otherwise. There's so much talent coming out of Peru right now; photographers, stylists, models, artists and other creatives that I've created meaningful bonds with via our shared visions to uplift our country. I've also met several change-makers I admire deeply around the US that are pushing the boundaries of multiple industries. It's so inspiring knowing the risks we are all taking to make different spaces less harmful and more inclusive.

A model wears a pink top and skirt by LOTI

Any advice for new BIPOC business owners?

Start before you feel "ready" and make sure you're clear on the driving force in your work that positively impacts others and will push you through the inevitable hard times. LOTI has been, and continues to be, the most challenging project I've ever been a part of, but knowing that what we're doing is creating positive impact in the fashion industry in ways that I personally connect to allows me to find the strength to keep going when things get really (really) hard.

Favorite song?

Ojitos lindos - Bad Bunny <3
Un Verano Sin Ti on repeat always.

Black dress by LOTI

White dress by LOTI

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

We're in the process of (hopefully) setting up our own studio space in Lima for all of our operations! We currently work out of different spaces, which makes everything slightly more difficult, so having our own space would be game changing since there are so many added steps to the upcycling process vs. a regular clothing brand. Being a bootstrapped business, I'm aware this will take time to fully set up and so, 5 years from now I see us having a fully set up studio with an integrated space to teach anyone who is interested how to sew, embroider, dye etc. I want this to be a program where people are paid to learn, something that would create meaningful impact in a country where a lot of people are living in survival mode. That is the dream.

What does In Todo mean to you?

In Todo is a celebration of creativity and determination for people that don't always get the chance to show the world their work. To me, In Todo represents vision, inclusion and love <3.

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