Latin America: fashion designers that you need to know

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A short list featuring some of the best South American fresh talents

Latin America: fashion designers that you need to know

Latin American designers are becoming household names, being celebrated by both critics and public for their bold choices and unique aesthetic. The sensual yet refined designs promoted by these names are getting more recognition than the minimalism of the Old Continent.

If Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico are already top destinations for fashion connoisseurs, being recognized for the talent they mentor and promote, the other countries in the region shouldn’t be neglected as they have their own share of home groomed fresh talents.

Colombia: Maria Elena Villamil. Her signature style is one of timeless grace and femininity. The Spring-Summer 2018 collection is a passionate ode to the sensual Latina woman. Rich fabrics, loud colors, and layers of ruffles remind us of the 1950s fashion muses and the passion found in flamenco. Her interpretation of the off-the-shoulder trend shows her sartorial sensibility and it easily becomes her fashion statement.

Colombia: Andrés Otálora. This Colombian designer captures the sexiness and exotic beauty of Colombia, while keeping his designs wearable and in line with our times. His travels around the world, especially in France and India, are the inspiration for the Fall-Winter 2017/2018 collection. In this work, Mr. Otálora plays with layers creating almost architectural designs which become a valid choice for the polished and cosmopolite world traveler.  

Mexico: Sandra Weil. Ms. Weil’s education in haute couture is the essence of all her collections. Her designs are appealing to women looking for ethereal garments, which enhance femininity through avant-garde elements. Intricate embroidery, luxury fabrics, and a fondness for sequins are archetypal elements of haute couture. However, Ms. Weil employs them for her ready-to-wear collection brining the exclusivity of high- fashion to prêt-à-porter.   

Mexico: Kris Goyri. Mr. Goyri is the wunderkind of Mexican fashion. When he was only 22, he received Elle´s award for New Mexican talent. Since then, he evolved next to his brand, being one of the pioneers when it comes to the promotion of the New Mexican aesthetic.
His looks are adaptable to a variety of body shapes, contrasting the traditional beauty canons of 90-60-90 typology. For the Spring-Summer 2018 collection, Mr. Goyri proposes clean shapes, geometric prints, and the season’s most wanted design- plissé layered maxi gowns.

Brazil: Cris Barros. The São Paulo native, who studied at Instituto Marangoni in Milan, is a favorite with Argentine and Brazilian socialites. Ms. Barros’ incorporates the Brazilian spirit in her designs while pursuing a contemporary minimalism instead of chasing daring choices. Her dresses are iconic, and for most of her collections she perfects the silhouettes until they reach an extreme femininity.

Ecuador: Gabriela Cadena. This New York based designer, who was born in Ecuador and studied design in Europe, is a favorite among celebrities. Her designs blend the effervescence of her native Latin America, the classic sophistication of Europe, and the sleek contemporaneity of NYC.
Her use of innovative prints create an intriguing fashion narrative. Shakira and Camila Alves are just two of the glamorous characters that shined in Cadena’s designs.

Guatemala: Juan Carlos Gordillo. Despite the fact that he’s a newcomer who’s missing international exposure, Mr. Gordillo is a favorite among the Austrian hipsters. In 2017, he returned for the third time to Vienna (Austria) to present his collection at MQFW. Denim is the key element in his latest ready-to-wear collection, and Mr. Gordillo manages to use the power of this versatile element in his favor when creating androgynous designs of peculiar beauty.


LatinAmerican Post | Adina Achim
Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza