Dan Storper founded Putumayo in New York City in 1975, shortly after earning his degree in Latin American studies. He named his Lexington Avenue boutique after a Colombian river valley, and sold the clothing and handicrafts he found during his frequent travels.
By 1989 Putumayo had three Manhattan locations, branches in Boston and Washington, D.C., and supplied its branded line of ethnic clothing to more than 200 stores.
But it was the international music he’d begun playing in his shops that would prove to be Storper’s greatest success. Customers could not get enough of it. In 1993 he established the Putumayo World Music label, selling carefully curated, diverse international compilations. They were so popular that Storper sold the clothing company in 1997 to focus on music. He eventually moved the company’s operations to New Orleans.
Written by Liza D. of Better Dresses Vintage