Narda Capuyan, Igorot fashion icon, dies; 73

/ 12:00 AM March 14, 2016
NARDA Capuyan introduced Cordillera fashion to the world.  Vincent Cabreza/ Inquirer Northern Luzon

NARDA Capuyan introduced Cordillera fashion to the world. Vincent Cabreza/ Inquirer Northern Luzon

BAGUIO CITY—Acclaimed Igorot weaver Narda Capuyan, whose indigenous fabrics and designs have broken barriers in the world of fashion here and abroad, passed away on Friday from a lingering illness. She was 73.

Born in the Mountain Province capital, Bontoc, Capuyan developed the brand Narda’s due to a strong following back in the 1970s, when she and a crew of community women wove tie-dyed threads and recycled acrylic yarn into blankets and bedcovers using her province’s traditional back-strap weaving skills.


She was a family planning nurse in 1972 when she turned her hand-knitting hobby into a lucrative business, not just for herself, but for community women, according to her company website.

In 1982, her woven “Ikat” fabrics were displayed in Bloomingdale’s in New York City. Her Ikat became popular household decor items, and the world attention earned her the Golden Shell Award from that era’s Ministry of Tourism and a countryside investors’ award in 1989 from then President Corazon Aquino.


In 2012, Narda’s fabrics made up the Filipino collection that was featured in Fashion Week in New York. Last year, Capuyan and her fabrics represented the Philippines in an exhibition of women entrepreneurs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit held in Manila.

Her remains have been brought home to Winaca Eco Village in Tublay town in Benguet province. Burial details have yet to be finalized. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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