by MIKE CHAIKEN
Despite 1,900 miles of coastline, Colombia’s swimsuit industry takes a public relations backseat to the United States, Brazil and the birthplace of the bikini, France.
But designers from that nation, working in tandem with Paraiso Miami Beach are trying to raise the nation’s profile when it comes to swim fashion.
In November, Paraiso organized Destination: Colombia, a fashion show in Miami that featured numerous designers from Colombia with a focus on swimwear.
In a press release, Paraiso said Destination: Colombia was about “creating new business opportunities for the Colombian brands, and opens a window to a brand new way of connecting with both media and industry audience.”
Carolina Estefan was one of the designers who participated in the event.
Asked to differentiate the aesthetic of her nation’s style, Estefan said Colombian swimwear is not as athletic and conservative as American brands. It also isn’t as spicy as Brazilian swimwear with that country’s trademark thongs.
“I would describe Colombian swimwear as fun, sexy, colorful and bold,” said Estefan.
Manuela Botero, a manager at Palmacea, said “We try to represent the endless beauty of Colombia.”
“In terms of design,” said Botero, “There is a vast variety of colors and prints combination, as well as silhouettes in one-piece and two-piece garments.”
“For us (at Palmaceo), we try to keep it comfortable but chic at the same time. Romantic but fun, classy but stylish,” said Botero.
However, Botero said, “(The Colombian aesthetic for swimwear) depends on the essence of the brand and on what cuts represents them better.”
Colombian swimwear is grabbing the attention of consumers “because of its peculiar balance of sensuality and elegance. It enhances women’s curves without being afraid of mixing bright and bold colors, prints, and decorative volumes to achieve unique silhouettes,” said Estefan.
“Quality and innovation are the two features that make Colombian fashion so widely known in the world,” said Estefan. “Thanks to the quantity and quality of Colombian designers, and the raw materials produced in the country, the national fashion industry has achieved its own identity, which very few textile and clothing producing countries manage to achieve.”
“We think that the Colombian swimwear industry is growing and expanding worldwide very quickly,” said Botero. “Not only because we can be counted on for our use of excellent raw materials and fabrication of the garments, but also because of the (talent of the) designers.”
PHOTOS by SIMON SOONG