Oct 5th, 2018, 06:34 PM

Tropics Invasion in Paris: Colombians in Fashion Week

By Alejandra Lopez
Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez
Johanna Ortiz, one of the most recognized Colombian designers, took over Fashion week with her astounding team.

Johanna Ortiz is one of the most recognized and prestigious designers in Colombia, now a star on the rise. During Paris fashion week, she and her inspiring team took over and flooded the city of love with their exquisite flavor.

Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez

She started her brand in 2005 after having returned to Colombia from studying in the US. Since then, she and her team have been creating for more than ten years, conquering the fashion world and having their brand carried by more than 40 stores worldwide. This includes prestigious stores like Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue, and many more across the globe.

The whole purpose of Fashion Week is for designers to present their upcoming collection to their buyers and to the public. With that said, there are two main Fashion Weeks for women: Spring-Summer which takes place in September (the one we just had) and Fall-winter which takes place in February. This major week takes place in the three most important fashion capitals: New York, Milan and the most important one, Paris.

For starters, and in simple terms, fashion week has two parts to it. The glamorous runways everyone wants to be a part of, where only those in the fashion elite get access. The second part is the market week, where buyers for boutiques and department stores go and actually place orders for the collection to be at their store.

The fashion industry is often known for being very competitive and for an atmosphere where people are unpleasant; Johanna and her team are breaking the stigma. Walking into their Parisian home on Rue de Varenne will never make you feel more welcomed, and the homey Colombian vibe they bring makes this experience so much more delightful. Just taking the models as an example, Johanna makes sure to keep her Colombian roots and to work mainly with Colombian models who fully embrace her love and support for her people and the country. 

Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez

The venue was an immersive tropical experience. Here you see yourself surrounded by the most typical Colombian tropical fruit with chontaduros and golden berries. The Invasion of the plants with the contrast of the classical French design creates a Latin ambiance, representative of what this designer is transmitting. Around the room all the buyers were deeply fascinated with  the small books containing flirtatious and love filled messages which were offered to the visitors as a souvenir. The atmosphere of vibrant colors, floral prints, and the amiable and simpatico Colombian team at this venue made people not only fall in love with this refreshing collection but also want to keep this Latin experience alive. 

'Chontaduros' the tropical  fruit commonly found in Cali, Colombia, the city Johanna is from. Image Credit: Alejandra Lopez

Her show came from a very creative place and was composed of three spaces in the house where the models were assigned a specific positioning depending on what they were wearing. Every fifteen minutes a bell would ring, the models would walk two or three times around the house and go back to their positions in the spaces which were the library, the dining hall and the living room. Every single space was strategically and aesthetically developed to fit the pieces on display with the section. 

There was a mix of cultures, where the Spring-Summer 2019 collection is inspired by French and also Colombian tastes. The name of it is La vie d’une femme poèt coming from Paul Jacoulet, who was a French artist living in Japan, which creates a romantic understanding of where the inspiration comes from that pleases both Latin American and French tastes.