Lucia Capuyan-Catanes inherited the mantle from her mother, Narda Capuyan, who started Narda’s in 1972 in the Philippines and who had, through a series of experimentations, revived the ikat weaving tradition of the Cordilleran region. In 1982, Bloomingdale’s in New York featured these products in an all-Philippine sales exhibition which further popularized Narda’s ikat in Japan, Europe and Canada. Narda’s was awarded the prestigious Golden Shell Award by the Ministry of Trade in the Philippines in 1982 for excellence in exports and for reviving a dying indigenous art, and the Countryside Investor Award by President Corazon Aquino in 1989 for providing livelihood to over 600 indigenous women weavers and sewers. In 1999, Narda Capuyan was selected as one of the 100 Women of the Philippines recognised for excellence in their fields and their contribution to national development.
After Narda Capuyan’s passing in 2016, Lucia, a restauranteur and entrepreneur, took over the business to ensure that the ikat tradition which her mother had painstakingly revived would not be lost again. She continued her mother’s design ideology and advocacy to empower weavers and to raise the status of their practice as art and expression of culture. She steered the brand towards producing Narda’s Naturals, a line of eco-friendly garments and home apparel. Narda’s continues to attain popularity in the Philippines whilst Lucia has featured as a speaker and designer in previous editions of the World Ikat Textiles Symposium. In the coming years, she hopes to develop a handicraft centre at her family’s estate where people can learn weaving, natural dyeing, basketry, workcarving and other arts common to the people of the Cordillera.