Behind every print and pattern, is a rich story from Nepal’s culture and history. Our design team carefully pulls inspiration from the abundance of interesting visual elements, textures and colors that are woven into daily life in the Himalayas. “Whether its pulling inspiration from our local textiles, ancient carvings or architecture and landscapes, we’re constantly looking to make sure our prints and design details always include small touches of our Himalayan culture.” Says Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, COO of Sherpa Adventure Gear. Tsedo and her team then pass this inspiration off to textile graphic designer Gwen Bolin, who researches different visual elements of the original concept and then spins the patterns and colors into a one-of-a-kind design. Below you'll find the stories behind some of this summer's most popular styles.
The kira is an ankle-length woven garment and is the national dress for women in Bhutan, Nepal’s Himalayan neighbor. It is wrapped around the body, pinned at both shoulders and bound at the waist with a long belt. The kira is usually worn with a wonju (long-sleeved blouse) inside and a short jacket or toego outside.
The patterns for the kira and the toego are never the same, so Bhutanese women mix and match their tops and bottoms, each creating a unique and colorful look.
The Kira Collection pulls the distinctive patterns from this traditional dress into its print design.
Yaks Bells from the Mustang
Jomsom, is a town located high in the Mustang Valley of Nepal. This area is also a gateway town to the Annapurna region, which is the most the popular trekking area in Nepal, attracting 75% off all trekkers who visit Nepal. Team of yaks are a common site along the trail in Jomsom. The clang of yak bells along the steep trails is an age-old sound, harkening back to the region's rich agricultural history.
Nearly all yaks along the trail are decorated with bright ribbons and bells. These decorations have practical purposes, alerting both herders and passers-by of the location of these large animals. But locals also believe that the tone of the bells have the power to invoke good fortune on their journey through the mountains.
The Jomsom Hoodie design creates a pattern from the traditional decorative designs on which Yak Bells are strung, invoking the experience of walking the trails through the Mustang Valley.
Celebrations and Ritual
Jatra is the word for “Festival” in Nepal. The Newar population, native to the region surrounding Kathmandu, are known for a religious culture that is rich in ceremony and marked by frequent festivals throughout the year. Many festivals are tied to Hindu and Buddhist holidays and the harvest cycle. These festivals can be comprised of street celebrations and ritual dances, while others are marked by family feasts and worship.
Sandpainting of mandala made during festivals rituals is a common practice amongst Buddhist in the Newar culture. A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically.
The pattern found in our Jatra Pants and Shorts is pulled from these traditional mandala designs and the colorful fabrics represent the joyful ceremonies and traditions of the Newar festivals in Nepal.