Meet the eight ‘cracks’ of Colombian fashion

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July 4, 2017. The presidential couple peers at a White House balcony to greet Independence Day. Melania Trump wore an electric blue dress with a square neckline and asymmetrical skirt with flying topped by a white trim.

To celebrate the most important patriotic day in the USA. The first lady chose a garment from the Colombian designer Esteban Cortázar. Some media saw in his election a wink to the immigrants, because Cortázar was born in Bogota and arrived at that country to the 10 years.
June 2017. The prestigious designer Carolina Herrera chooses the Colombian Mercedes Salazar to create the accessories of her Resort 18 collection.

These are just two examples that show that Colombian designers are fashionable. And they have noticed magazines such as ‘Vogue’, ‘Elle’, ‘Vanity Fair’, ‘Marie Clair’, ‘In Style’ and ‘Bazaar’, and newspapers like ‘The Country’ and ‘The Guardian’, either using their pieces in fashion editorials or with articles about them.

There are at least a dozen creators of clothing, jewelry, shoes and wallets on which the reflectors have been placed, and which have remained at the forefront of international design. And their garments are already seen by the celebrities, who leave their testimony in the pages of magazines, in the street style of their websites, in their accounts of Instagram. And such a mention is the best showcase for any designer.

Some have spent more years than others in the world of fashion, some have made their career abroad, others have internationalized from here. What everyone shares, besides the talent, is the constancy to achieve a solid business and in tune with the international market. They present their collections in the fashion weeks of Paris and New York, mainly, and sell in several countries, either through multi-brand stores, luxury web platforms, their own pages or a mixture of these resources.

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But they have also had a synchronization of circumstances. On the one hand, the change of the country in the last two decades, with economic growth and political stability. It was said by Barranquillera Nina García, editor-in-chief of Elle magazine: “Talent has always been here, what has changed is the look of the world of us, which was violence and insecurity. We are a culturally rich country, with a focus on art and crafts, which are a raw material heritage of this country and which is now being valued. We needed the right conditions to be able to shine. ”

On the other hand is the cultural heritage that we have already seen in music and literature. Now, the turn is for fashion. For the designer Johanna Ortiz, “we are in the process of learning to value and sell our immense cultural values. The current trend is to look inward and reflect how good we have; before we tried to imitate the outside. In my case, inspiration comes from our diversity. ”

A heritage that is nourished by the exuberance of its flora and fauna; the artisanal work of indigenous and peasant communities; of urban life; of the tradition of the different regions of the country, that the designers have known to reinterpretar of original form.

“We have found brands with a quality product, original, with history and social background. They have a local character but not folklore and many artisan details. They are marks with projection. The market is looking for new, exclusive things, and here are the ones, “said Victoria de la Fuente, of Lambert & Associates, a 40-year-old firm that is the bridge between luxury brands and stores.

Talent has always been here, what has changed is the look that the world had on us

Another ‘star’ that was aligned was the emergence of luxury platforms to buy online, such as Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi (founded by Lauren Santo Domingo and Aslaug Magnusdottir), which have more than 250 brands, in which at least a dozen of our designers along with names like Delpozo, Dolce & Gabbana, John Galliano, Louis Vuitton and Versace.

Also weighing the work of Creo Consulting, company of two young Colombians (Lolo Echavarría and Giovanna Campagna) that has positioned outside many of our designers, and the showcase that is Colombiamoda.

From this universe of local creators we chose the eight that best represent all this process of international consolidation, understanding that (in principle) all selection is unfair.

Elementary proficiency
At age 23, he was design chief at Emanuel Ungaro, where he worked for two years. This year he assembled Colombia by Esteban Cortázar at Colette, the Parisian luxury boutique that brought together 30 national brands.

Edgardo Osorio
Cartagenero. Creator of the Aquazzurra shoe brand. ‘Poppy’ Delevingne, Olivia Palermo and Claudia Schiffer have made capsule collections with him. Jennifer Lawrence and Julianne Moore have used their creations.

Johanna Ortiz
Included in the ‘Business of Fashion’ in the 500 most influential fashion people in the last year. It is present at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods and the Moda Operandi web store.

Silvia Tcherassi
It has shown collections in the fashion weeks of Milan and Paris. He received one of the highest honors of France, the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. It has stores in Miami and Spain.

Pepa Pombo by Mónica Holguín
It was the first with a store outside the country (in Mexico). Now he is also in Guatemala and this year he arrived in Bergdorf Goodman. Lyz Taylor and María Felix used their designs. Now they do Eva Longoria and Amal Clooney.

Nancy Gonzalez
Bumanguesa residing in the USA UU. In 1998 it debuted in the luxury shop Bergdorf Goodman. It is also on Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrod’s, Net-a-Porter and Lane Crawford. It has stores in Seoul and Hong Kong.

Paula Mendoza
Present in Net-a-Porter, Moda Operandi, Bergdorf Goodman and Harvey Nichols. Their jewels have been used by Beyoncé, Dakota Fanning, Britney Spears, Sofia Vergara, Kate Beckinsale, Fergie, Maye Musk and Leandra Medine.

Mercedes Salazar
With a track record of 16 years, its brand is present in 19 markets of America, Europe and Asia. The jewels she creates have seduced Paula Echavarría, Devon Windsor and Blanca Miró, among other celebrities.

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