A few days ago, we said goodbye to the latest edition of Bogotá Fashion Week, which took place from May 22 to 24. The Agora convention centre brought together the most recognised national designers as well as journalists and buyers from all over the world for over three days. We travelled to the capital of Colombia to learn more about one of the most up-and-coming events in the Latin American fashion scene, which this year held its seventh edition, consolidating itself as a platform to follow on the international map.
It seems like fashion week has turned into a never-ending period in our calendars: while Nicolas Ghesquière landed in Barcelona to present Louis Vuitton’s 2025 Cruise collection just a few days after the Australian Fashion Week ended as well as the last edition of Culture Week Tbilisi in Georgia took place, Bogotá Fashion Week opened a new call for what is one of the fashion events with the greatest projection in all of Latin America. Further proof that there is fashion far beyond the essential circuit that goes from New York to Paris via London and Milan, and the importance of paying attention to those cities that work very hard to promote local talent.
Bogotá Fashion Week stands as a commercial and promotional platform for the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, which hints at its business-focused approach and the efforts made to turn brands into financially able and solid projects with not only national but also international presence. A very good starting point that translates into a highly geared structure, designed to promote synergies, dialogues between the different actors in the industry, and the emergence of professional relationships that lead to shared growth.
This is a young fashion week –just seven editions to date–, very few compared to other major fashion events in Europe that have been positioning their creators on the international circuit for decades and that have already earned recognition from the specialised press while arousing the interest of buyers. The challenge that Bogotá Fashion Week has ahead is not only to promote the creatives who choose this event to present their work, but also to show itself to the world as a serious and meaningful platform, capable of generating profits and with plenty of scope for growth.
The strategy led by the organisation has been proven to be quite successful, and the desire to continue growing and making itself well-known in the international scene is noticeable from the moment we enter the main venue of the event, the Agora. Most fashion shows take place here, as well as conversation panels led by industry experts, meetings between brands and buyers, and even some more casual and social events that promote dialogue and, of course, business. Having a clear epicentre helps the platform to bring together the different players in the industry during three days, something essential at this important moment that Bogotá Fashion Week is going through.
From the opening event starring Olga Piedrahita, a pioneering and veteran designer in the Colombian fashion scene who was honoured in this edition, to fashion shows led by what they called the Sustainable Collective, the Urban Collective and the Emerging Collective, among others. The fashion show schedule was very well thought-out and mixed more established profiles whose brands are already known by the local audience with younger projects that are now fighting the first obstacles in the brand creation process, keeping in mind that the most difficult part is to stay in this very competitive industry.
Although María Paz Gaviria, Manager of Commercial and Cultural Platforms of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, with whom we had the opportunity to speak and share impressions in a meeting, frames Bogotá Fashion Week in the holiday-resort season, some designers go one step further by introducing new aesthetics that break away from clichés and stereotypes. From proposals that bet on the reinvention of classic tailoring to urban collections that connect with younger generations and current trends, many creatives strive to inject a more open style into the Colombian fashion scene which connects easily to the rest of the world.
Of course, the identity, history, and colours that permeate this country, where more than fifty million people live, are present in the collections that the brands present on the runway. Whether in bright prints, interplay of textures or in the songs chosen for the runway, Bogotá shows its unmistakable personality. And if we had to go for just one characteristic that seems to define this country when it comes to fashion, that would be craftsmanship. We saw that in the absolute respect for traditional techniques in the process of creating and developing garments, manufacturing and the search for sustainable solutions. 
We confirmed this in our meetings with Manuela Álvarez, A New Cross and in our exciting visit to the workshop and showroom of the Colombian textile studio Verdi, among many others. All of them are aware that there are still many people who appreciate craftsmanship and know how to recognise a good piece with careful attention to detail. And they’re right.
The Bogotá Chamber of Commerce is also fully aware of this reality, as well as the importance of conveying the message in the best possible way through all its channels. “We want to expand conversations about sustainability, it is a fundamental part of what we promote in the Chamber; an imperative for the transformation of the industry,” says Gaviria, who together with her team fights to amend the disconnection between theoretical learning and integration into the labour market. “There are not enough students graduating in careers that are key to the advancement of the industry. There is a lack of agents in certain areas such as pattern making. We have to try to overcome the barriers of human value.”
Going back to the brands that showed their work at Bogotá Fashion Week, we must highlight the impeccable work of Cubel. The brand founded by Humberto Cubides is a perfect example of how craftsmanship can (and should) be reinvented in garments with contemporary codes, that can be worn easily and integrate high quality and design. Nor can we ignore the Andrea Landa show, a brand whose vision is built on bringing leather to life through the use of handcrafted techniques, as well as the collection presented by Faride Ramos in which we find many well-executed timeless garments.
The collection that, in our opinion, dazzled the most on the runway, was Hechos de maíz by La Petite Mort. This designer duo, whose collection was presented as part of the Emerging Collective, demonstrated not only to have a modern vision of fashion that blends perfectly with craftsmanship but also to master styling, elevating their pieces to their full potential.
After attending the shows by Anthias, Mayorga, Papel de Punto, A Modo Mio, Carlo Carrizosa and Laura Aparicio at the Agora, we headed to the Old Maquiina show, which decided to present their new collection in a different location after 10.30 pm. While it is true that the community that this brand brought together at their event stood out for its link with creativity and art, it reminded us that it is not always necessary to show a new collection in a show format. Their garments looked much better in the showroom than in the physical presentation that took place close to midnight. 
As María Paz Gaviria explained to us, the brands whose shows take place in the Agora do not have to pay to take part in the Bogotá Fashion Week, receiving instead the support of the Chamber of Commerce, which provides subsidies. A great impulse that favours the emergence of new names in the fashion scene with which the progressive consolidation of the event and, therefore, the fashion industry is pursued.
Although Bogotá Fashion Week is held once a year and does not have two seasons like most international events, the Manager of Commercial and Cultural Platforms of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce gives us an exciting exclusive. “We will soon be launching one more fashion event, you will know soon!”
Andrea Landa
Faride Ramos
La Petite Mort
Olga Piedrahita