Three Colombian Designers Making a Splash

Three Colombian Designers Making a Splash

The Tulerie closet finds some extra buzz this time of year as our Tulerettes browse and borrow the vacation items their hearts desire. Summer travel is officially making waves, and the outfits that will keep your bag packed are just as important on the vacation checklist as the flight and event itinerary. 

If your roster of vacay-spo includes breezy dresses, coastal-inspired details, textiles touching every color of the rainbow, and, of course, one-of-a-kind patterns, I have just the roundup for you. With emerging designers Silvia Tscherassi, Agua Bendita, and Johanna Ortiz, not only will you secure fresh designs, but, more importantly, you can support the rich diversity, history, and sustainability of the Colombian heritage.

Silvia Tscherassi is a name you may have been shopping for years. She began her career in 1987 and officially opened her first boutique outside of Colombia in Miami in 1997. According to WWD, Tscherassi is the pioneer of Latin flair. From her start as an interior designer, she has never shied away from her Colombian roots. 

She was invited to show at her first Milan Fashion Week in 2003. Although the direction of her designs has shifted over the years, one signature she always retained was the use of vibrant colors and Colombian craftsmanship to tell a story. 

From her extension brand Tscherassi Hotels, to writing her book Effortless Elegance, Tscherassi has become an essential voice in fashion. She also stepped into the role of fashion sustainability by participating in give-back programs, launching a sustainable accessories collection at the 2020 Paris Fashion Week, and incorporating upcycling and natural materials to create one-of-a-kind products handcrafted by the artisans she works with. 

Johanna Ortiz was born in Cali, Colombia, and has been inspired by the views of her country from a very young age– “The tropical jungles, evergreen mountain ranges, and myriad palm trees danced in her dreams where her creativity was awoken.”

She left Colombia to study Fashion Design at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and then returned to her hometown to launch her luxury resort brand in 2003. Her ethos as a designer who has supported women and social causes from the beginning makes her inspirational. She proudly employs over 450 individuals, most of whom are women. 

Johanna Ortiz leads artisanal collaboration with locality and tradition to tell a story of artisans who made the fashion. The next time you see “Made with Love” labels, think of the talented artisan who made it.

Last but surely not least, Agua Bendita the designer label started in 2003 by best friends Catalina Álvarez and Mariana Hinestroza. What began with a passion, a sewing machine, and a dream became a booming business where creativity and culture thrived. 

Agua Bendita is a leading brand nationwide, with over thirty stores in Colombia and fifty stores worldwide. What makes Agua Bendita special is its AB Hearts initiative, where they “believe in the power of the hands to create and transform.” They empower women with training processes in entrepreneurship and leadership, sharing their stories, supporting their families, and offering them a platform to express generational creativity and talent. 

All their beautiful designs and colorful prints are made by hand. Known for its color and embroidery pieces we all love, Agua Bendita strives to share Colombian craftsmanship. They also have a commitment statement to create less and create better by only producing three collections a year. 

These three women-led companies have made their name a household as they take over the fashion world and pave the way for future generations to celebrate their local cultures and backgrounds. Inspired by the lushness of their native country, Colombia, these women designers deserve the titles of innovators, trailblazers, and trendsetters due to their leadership of the international arts community. 

-As always, elevate your wardrobe with respected fashion and embrace the shift in style