Colombian fashion roots with global reach

By Honor Scott April 11, 2019
Papel del Punto (centre) was awarded the prize for the best emerging designer of the week. Photos: María Paula López

Bogotá Fashion Week 2019 combined Colombian heritage with a global, business-minded perspective in three days of conferences and catwalks.

Whether emerging or established, and whether their field of expertise lies in jewellery, clothing, or leather design, all 48 designers featured at Bogotá Fashion Week call Colombia their home, and all are part of an initiative which seeks to establish the city as a global capital for both fashion and business. Their work was shared with the rest of Bogotá – as well as plenty of guests from further afield – in a three day festival of fashion which felt as global as it did Colombian.

Hosted again by the Cámara de Comercio, who have been supporting entrepreneurs in Bogotá for over 100 years, it was an opportunity for brands to showcase not only their designs, but also their international business potential. This potential was what attracted national and international buyers.

The catwalk was a commercial as well as a fashion platform. It was an opportunity for brands to gain recognition on the global stage as well as within their own country.

An example of this was the prize for the best emerging designer – a scholarship for the IED (European Institute of Design) in Barcelona – which was awarded to Papel de Punto. The institute, a global leader in design education, stated that “Papel de Punto stood out for the good work it has done in the development of its brand and the projection of this in its designs.”

The brand’s ‘Delfín hasta el fin’ (‘Dolphin until the end’) collection certainly stood out amongst the designers. The unisex design of their oversized knitwear, in line with its ‘global vision of fashion and gender’, is combined with powerful feline prints, bringing art to the foreground as much as fashion.

Related: Business set to be on trend at Bogotá Fashion Week 2019

The creativity and style on display throughout the week celebrated the traditions of design and craft so inherent in Latin American heritage, from the bold gold and indigenous influences of the jewellery show which opened the week, to the vibrant colours and tribal rhythms of the soundtracks which accompanied many of the shows.

As expected from the gente de moda, pushing fashion boundaries wasn’t confined to the fashion crowd: the invitees lining the runway and mingling outside it provided as much of a feast for the eyes as the models walking down it.

Faride Ramos closed the week, uniting the feminine and the androgynous in a show which went from maxis, to minis, to power suits. With the week’s agenda of helping to boost the Colombian industry’s global standing, the designers ‘fashion forward’ techniques – mixing of laser cutting and by-hand techniques – as well as the prestige of her designs, seemed a well fitting finale.  

Photos: María Paula López