Style Icon | Yma Sumac

Yma Sumac aka "The Peruvian Songbird" and "The Incan Princess" was a Peruvian soprano of international fame, best known for her rare vocal range that was well over four octaves.

Sumac claimed to be an Incan princess and in her initial rise to fame during the late 1940's, articles wrote this to be true as it was a story backed by the Peruvian government. However, among her cult following there was also a theory that her claims of Incan royalty were false and that she was, in fact, a Brooklyn housewife named Amy Camus (Yma Sumac spelled backwards, or vice versa, I suppose.) There are several interesting articles regarding this theory including one on The Appendix that was written by the daughter of Sumac's best friend in Peru that discusses why these theories were born and how they evolved over time.

As questionable as her heritage may be, there is truth in the fact that the woman had immense style. Sumac combined traditional Incan costume with 1950's Hollywood glamour resulting in a unique look that I have to say is my favorite among all the women that have been featured thus far in the Style Icons series. Have a look below and let me know if you agree. Oh, and maybe give her music a listen while you're at it!

Peruvian soprano, Yma Sumac
Peruvian soprano and style icon, Yma Sumac.
Iconic Peruvian songstress, Ima Sumac.
Vintage style icon, Yma Sumac.
Vintage style icon, Yma Sumac
Vintage style icon, Yma Sumac
Vintage style icon, Yma Sumac
Peruvian soprano, Yma Sumac and her son Charlie in the 1950s.
Vintage style icon Yma Sumac in the 1950s.
Yma Sumac in the 1950s
Peruvian beauty and songstress, Yma Sumac.
Vintage style icon, Yma Sumac