There must be something in the water in Colombia. The abundance of talent that has come out from Panama’s neighboring country is just so awe-inspiring. Last year, José and I travelled to Medellín for the reopening of the newly expanded MAMM (Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín) and I was just so taken by the level of design and the quality of craft that was present in many of the offerings of the boutiques in El Poblado—boutiques like Makeno, which I highly recommend you visit if you’re ever in Medellín. Other design hotspots in Colombia include, of course, its capital Bogotá and more recently, the city of Cali where famed Colombian designer Johanna Ortiz is based. Other designers and labels making their mark on the international fashion scene include, but aren’t limited to, M2Malletier, Mola Sasa, Paula Mendoza, Pepa Pombo, Aquazzura, and Diana Crump of Atelier Crump, who’s printed power suits have taken Latin America by storm. One thing I absolutely admire of the Colombian fashion scene is how supportive they are of each other and how collaborative some of their collections are. For instance, multitalented Colombian illustrator and graphic designer Natalia Swarz—who was briefly based in Panama before moving to Barcelona—is no stranger to lending her artistic skills for product development at M2Malletier and to create patterns for custom textiles for both Atelier Crump’s suits and LoboRosa’s robes and pijamas.
It felt so amazing to wear something from Latin America for NYFW, not only because I am proud to be a Latina but also because Atelier Crump’s suits have that effect on people. Not only are they empowering in a “power suit” kind of way, but also because they represent Latin America’s ability to reinvent itself, our spirit of entrepreneurship and the newfound role of women in businesses within a community and a society notorious for its machismo and sexist tradition. Diana’s suits don’t shy away from femininity or authority—they rather brilliantly conjugate these concepts which, in my region, are at many times like oil and water—and, frankly, neither should Latinas or any woman anywhere, for that matter. Who run the world?
Photos by María Gibbs.