Colombia hits New York catwalks with colorful eco-inspired fashion

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The Cubel collection by designer Humberto Cubides during the launch of Bogotá Fashion Week 2023. Photo: Richard Emblin

Amid the dazzling spectacle of New York Fashion Week, the Colombian fashion industry emerges as a force to be reckoned with, captivating the global audience with its century-old heritage and a commitment to sustainability, innovation, and eco-conscious practices. The Colombian fashion scene, marked by its rich tapestry of indigenous influences, is making waves on the grand stage of NY Fashion Week showcasing the nation’s remarkable talent and designs that resonate far beyond its borders.

This year’s NYFW (September 7 – 13), proves to be no exception, as Colombian designers prepare to steal the limelight in the heart of New York City. One standout is CUBEL, brainchild of designer Humberto Cubides, and whose creations draw inspiration from the indigenous cultures of Latin America. Cubides, set to make his second appearance at NY Fashion Week on September 10, promises to weave compelling narratives through his designs.

On the same date, Colombian designer París Rodríguez is poised to disrupt conventions at the iconic Rockefeller Center. In an unconventional twist, the runway will be graced not by supermodels but by women entrepreneurs, challenging the traditional notions of beauty and style.

Hailed as the new ‘King of NY Fashion Week’ by Latin Vogue magazine, Raúl Peñaranda, a visionary designer from Cali, Colombia, is set to unveil his latest collection on September 16. Peñaranda’s remarkable achievement follows in the esteemed footsteps of fashion legends Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, as he proudly presents his 28th consecutive collection at NYFW.

Meanwhile, Andrés Otálora, a venerable Colombian fashion label boasting over three decades of history, will host the NYC Spring/Summer 2024 showroom from September 11 to 14. With a footprint in international retailers like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, Otálora exemplifies the global appeal of Colombian fashion.

In a harmonious blend of fashion and artistry, Pinkfilosofy, the Colombian fashion brand co-founded by Adriana Arboleda and Johanna Ortiz, will take center stage from September 13 to 18, showcasing its Spring-Summer 24 collection. Pinkfilosofy’s distinct fusion of Colombian aesthetics with international flair promises to captivate the discerning New York audience.

Colombia’s influence extends beyond the boundaries of Fashion Week, with a notable presence at events like MAGIC and Coterie. During these trade fairs, a delegation of twelve Colombian companies will seek to expand their business horizons and align their offerings with the discerning tastes of North American buyers.

“The future of the Colombian fashion industry is bright. Between January and June 2023, the sector exported US$161 million to the United States. We aspire to establish ourselves as a global fashion powerhouse, celebrated for our impeccable textiles, innovative designs, and unwavering commitment to ethical and sustainable production practices,” states Carmen Caballero, President of ProColombia.

As the country experiences a fashion renaissance thanks to the entrepreneurs who have earned solid reputations at home, the New York spotlight once again illuminates Colombia’s fashion landscape –  and with it – stories of creativity, ingenuity and perseverance.

Bogotá Fashion Week in the light of Vermeer