End of year Cartagena is a Caribbean fashionista’s playground, and a great source of inspiration for what’s to come in the Colombian fashion industry the next year. If Cartagena is your destination to ring-in 2023, here’s the crème de la crème of local fashion buys to pack – and “carry-on” friendly edition. Take a look at our top ten picks for a spectacular, fashion savvy trip, as you won’t be needing more.
Nora Lozza’s Chunky Sandals
Recently donned by Nicole Ravachi and Kelly Talamas, Nora Lozza’s Chunky sandals seem to have cemented the label’s position as Colombia’s most stylish and fashion-forward footwear brand. Available in a selection of colors, this leather pair is indiscreet and robust – no daintiness here, so only wear if you’re looking to make a statement. Like all Nora Lozza items, they’re sturdy and designed to last, so they are a good pick to pack for leisurely afternoon walks in Cartagena’s Centro Histórico; the 2cm heel is your best friend.
Saudade Voce Light Gold Bikini Set
Everything Saudade does sells out in days. Not too shabby for a local brand that’s only a couple of years old. Their most recent collaboration with in vogue stylist couple Pamela and Roberto Asís, titled Saudade De Asís, is likely to disappear off the racks, so time your shopping spree.
Our top pick is their light gold bikini, an elegant yet cheeky staple for both poolside tanning and trips to Cholón. With signature artisan-crafted details (the most gorgeous hand-braided straps make this otherwise simple bikini a standout), and an underwire top, it’s made to make you look and feel tropical.
Project Adamo’s White Gardenia Dress
If we have to pick one brand that’s set to go from undervalued to highly-coveted in 2023, it’s gonna be Project Adamo, so get your hands on them before everybody else does. A good place to start is their Gardenia Dress in white. Perfect for both casual strolling and end-of-year white parties, the dress’ romantic peasant skirt and v-neck will have you reaching for it everytime you pack your bags to hop on a flight towards La Heróica.
Mercedes Campuzano’s Evie Heels
Affordable and chic, Mercedes Campuzano has gone from shopping mall staple brand to easy “It-Girl” fashion. Every new collection further proves sophistication can go hand-in-hand with a reasonable price tag. Take a look at their array of long, casual dresses, but definitely don’t skip on their shoes. This time around, we’re going for the versatile Evie heeled sandals, which will pair well with (and amp up) just about any outfit. That’s one way to make your packing easier.
Díaz Del Castillo’s Tsunami Black & White Hat
Díaz Del Castillo Millinery knows what they’re good at, and they quietly excel at it. Of course, when you’ve got such a great product, you can let it speak for itself. If you’re looking for a stunning, head-turning, awe-inspiring hat, there’s really no need to look anywhere else. We’re partial to the Tsunami Black & White hat, an artisanal, 30cm maxi brim hat handmade in Palma Real straw. If you’re more conservative, though, or just not looking to make such a fuss, you can go for one of their simpler models. Ideal for beach days in Barú.
Carlo Carrizosa’s Jeanie Top
Colombian designer Carlo Carrizosa is a darling to fashionistas around the world from the get-go, with his characteristic pleats being sported from the Champs Élysées to the Calle de San Juan de Dios. If there’s one piece you’re likely to spot, it’s probably his Jeanie top, one of the brand’s longest sellers. The effortlessness of a crop top meets the sophistication of beautiful gathered sleeves –– pair with one of the brand’s skirts for extra classiness, or with your favorite pair of shorts or linen trousers for an everyday look. I’m partial to the idea of wearing the Jeanie on date night, preferably at Hotel Santa Clara’s bar.
Amani Eyewear’s Chiara Frames Sunglasses
What’s the beach without a great pair of sunnies? Amani Eyewear is one of the few Colombian labels doing them right and, what’s best, they are reasonably priced.. Our advice would be to opt for a less traditional style, like the Chiara frames. With an octagon lens and surrounding oval metal frame, the 100% UV protection will keep your eyes protected from the scorching midday sun over Islas Del Rosario.
Palma Canaria’s Joan Beach Tote
If there’s one type of bag to pack for a Cartagena holiday, that’s a sturdy beach bag. Head over to Palma Canaria for trustworthy, visually stunning accessories, bags and dresses (the latter is best to pre order, though, if you’re in need of one), and take a look at their Joan Beach Tote, your best bet for this end of year season. Easy to match and versatile, with a gorgeous copper colored hand braided strap, it will go with you from brunch at Mila straight to Playa Blanca, and artisan cocktails at Alquímico.
La Marea’s Caracol Studs
Understated and delicate, everything up-and-coming contemporary accessory brand La Marea has put out so far has been breathtaking, making them one of the labels we’re expecting the most of this coming year. In the meantime, we’ll be reaching for their Caracol studs, perfect for everyday wear – and, because of their price tag and simple nature, gifting. These studs were designed with the movement of water in mind, so they’re also the perfect pairing for day to night Cartagena outfits.
Waimari’s Chia Kimono
A top-of-mind Colombian resort wear label, Waimari’s handmade crochet pieces are unmistakable. This season, we’re eyeing their black Chia kimono. Its globe-like sleeves, and wrist and waist detailing make this an uber feminine model – perfect for Cartagena sunsets. Wear as a cover-up over swimwear, or elegantly as a night top. Either way, you’re bound to turn heads.