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Get Outta Town

Copy One Designer’s Kinda Magical Adventure Through the Andes

Get Outta Town BY genevieve ang 03/08/2017

via @atelierdelphine


Yuka Izutsu might live in a design-mag-worthy home in Pasadena and make drapey apparel for her line Atelier Delphine that all the luxe ladies love, but when she travels, she’s not afraid to get scrappy. “I tend to travel very minimally—I bring a lot of emergency food, I hitchhike, and sometimes I don’t take showers for three days!” she exclaims. Her most recent undertaking? A jaunt to South America to meet the Peruvian artisans making her supersoft new line of knitwear. Here’s how it all went down up in those mountains.


Her Travel Philosophy

“I went to Peru because I’m starting to make sweaters in the Andean mountains. These indigenous tribes in the highlands live with the alpacas and spin yarn while they walk alongside them. I don’t research a lot before I go somewhere new—I just arrive and try to see whatever I can see. For example, with these sweaters, I found a few contacts, and we just all started experimenting together and made some amazing things! I notice how big the world is when I travel, and that is not something you can learn from books or listening to other people. Feeling it in your body is so different.”


Her Favorite Stops


“I really enjoyed the Barranco neighborhood. A lot of artists live there, and lots of backpackers visit—it’s very safe, and there are organic markets and cafes everywhere. I also ate a lot of good food in Lima! Cantarana offers traditional Peruvian food, and they serve a lot of good ceviche—I especially loved the one with grilled octopus and giant corn. Amaz serves food from the Amazon and was a local friend’s highest recommendation. Their juices made from Amazonian fruits were the best! I also really enjoyed Museo Larco’s Café Del Museo, which serves very modernized takes on Peruvian food.”



“This town is famous for making incredible salt. The industry is a good example of how Peruvians are so appreciative of their past. Everyone here was also so warm and welcoming! I was hitchhiking and got cold inside the car, and the driver actually stopped to get some blankets for me.”



“These famous salt flats in Bolivia were amazing. I backpacked through Peru to get to Bolivia—it took me around six hours from where I was staying in Puno, Lima, to get to La Paz, and then it was another 11 hours to go from La Paz to Salar de Uyuni to see the salt flats. But it was worth it! I actually cried when I saw them because they were so breathtaking.”


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Cloudy Day Celeste Top
25 OF A KIND .


Her Packing List


“I always wear makeup, even when backpacking, so I’m never without these.”



“I always bring some sheet masks to relax with at night. I recently discovered this Korean line—their coconut gel mask is my favorite.”



“These are a must for me because I need to be able to wear something comfortable and these don’t slide out of my ears.”



“I always have pencils and small notebooks that I can put in my pant pockets with me because I’m always designing on the road when I travel. I love these Rhodia ones. I sketch my ideas out and will eventually send those sketches with notes to my sewing lady and sweater producers. The sketches are rough and ugly, but they mean a lot more to me than when I design in L.A.”

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