Between Monday 25 and Thursday 27 of April, Bogotá will host the third edition of its highly successful fashion week, an event bringing together 35 designers from around the city in an effort to promote the emerging talent that exists here and highlight the potential of the capital’s design scene.

This year’s Bogotá Fashion Week (BFW) is sponsored by American Express and will take place in the Salitre Business Center of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce (CCB), which is looking to convert the city into a capital of worldwide fashion. The Camara de Comercio acquired the BFW brand rights in order to establish contacts that will generate business in this competitive sector and consequently transform the annual event into Colombia’s most important international fashion market.

The designs to be presented will range from clothing and footwear to jewellery and accessories that showcase the creative abilities of Colombian designers. Assisting these local designers with turning their dreams into a reality is the primary goal of the CCB, which, in the past, has played a leading role in developing the country’s cultural industries through trade fairs dedicated to film promotion (Bogotá Audiovisual Market), music (Bogotá Music Market) and art (ARTBO).

Bogotá is home to over 30,000 companies dedicated to clothing and fashion and, therefore, has a leading role in the national economy. For Mónica de Greiff, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, it is important to present not only the skill and expertise of these companies, but their financial achievements as well. In collaborating with the Chamber of Commerce, BFW 2017 will combine the region’s talent for authentic design with the commercial success the industry brings to Colombia.

The opening catwalk will be led by Colombian designer Lina Cantillo exhibiting the autumn/winter collection that she recently presented in New York. Other well-known names presenting at the event include Bettina Spitz, Isabel Henao, Juan Pablo Socarrás, Faride Ramos and Amelia Toro, who will be closing BFW. The international designer Custo Barcelona will headline at BFW.

There will be a total of sixteen catwalks and while they are by invite only, the general public is able to register online if they would like to attend specific ones on both the 26 and 27.

Although catwalks will be the main focus of the event, BFW will also provide its visitors with various showrooms displaying the work of some twenty one designers with the possibility of viewing their collections and purchasing certain items. Further to this, fourteen up-and-coming designers will have the opportunity to make themselves known by marketing their products over the three day period in different “pop-up stores”. All of these designers were carefully selected in 2016 after a strict curatorial process, and have received advice and support on strengthening their companies from the organization.

Of the activities available at BFW involving catwalks and the marketplace, the public will be able to take part in several academic forums that will open the floor to discussions about design, cultural identity and business models in the world of fashion. Those attending will be joined by international guests Alexandra Farah, a journalist who specialises in Brazilian fashion, and Fiona Ferrer, a Spanish blogger for HOLA magazine. On the 26, Farah will hold a conference on “Fashion and Technology” and Ferrer will talk about “the evolution of communication in the world of fashion”.

On the 27, Ana Paula Limogne, the marketing manager for Swarovski in Latin America, will give a presentation on “decoding worldwide fashion trends and innovations”.

Finally, a special interactive event will be held for 150 VIP guests who will have the chance to see, touch and wear the designs of renowned Colombian jewellers.