Up and Coming Latin American Designers

When the average American thinks of LatinX clothing, they usually think of stereotypical tropical-influenced prints and bold colors. But there’s a lot more to Latin American designers than that.

Several LatinX designers have been taking off in recent years. Though the typical American may not know about them yet, those who follow fashion and couture have had their eyes on them for some time. These designers are not only changing the world’s view of what Latin American fashion is, but they’re also influencing the larger fashion world in general.

Johanna Ortiz

Johanna Ortiz’s success looks like it happened overnight, but in reality, it took 15 years of growing her brand. The Colombian designer’s luxury gypset dresses, with a boho, slinky mixture of fabrics and ruffles, came to international attention just a few years ago after a co-founder of Moda Operandi saw someone at a wedding wearing Ortiz’s design and sent Ortiz to New York.

What sets Ortiz apart is her commitment to real women– Ortiz, who describes herself as a typical Latina, “short and curvy,” tries on every design to make sure it looks and feels good– and her celebration of South American spirit, with vibrant colors and unabashed femininity. She also has a bridal collection available.

Ortiz is also committed to giving back to her community. Instead of outsourcing her factories, she keeps them in Colombia, hiring locals to work in them. She helps local women rise by teaching them couture sewing techniques through her nonprofit, Semillero.

Silvia Tcherassi

Another Colombian woman, Silvia Tcherassi, has been poised to break out in the US. since at least 2013 after 25 years in the fashion business. She blends unexpected fabrics, like neoprene, normally used in things like wetsuits, with high-end materials.

Tcherassi notes that Colombia has long been a big producer of textiles, but only recently has had some designers start leading the way in fashion. Tcherassi has been helping to show the world that Latina fashion is not monolithic. “Colombian women love to dress up, show their femininity, and be on trend. Many years ago, their taste was more conservative and they were afraid to use colors and prints. When I opened my boutique in Bogotá, the windows of the boutiques were full of black solid clothes. Today, they take more risks.”

Angel Sanchez

Venezuelan-born designer Angel Sanchez first trained as an architect before switching into fashion, a skill he learned from his mother, his first business partner. His designs are often called architectural, with highly structured dresses, particularly his wedding gown line. More recently, his move to Miami caused him to start creating dresses with a more resort-like flow. Sanchez is known for dressing celebrities like Eva Longoria but also for his loyalty to his clients, putting their needs above him trying to be a celebrity himself.  He says, “I owe being here, the fact of that continuity, to all those loyal clients, the clients that don’t simply use you because now you are the ‘it’ designer and the next season use another one.”

Esteban Cortazar

Esteban Cortazar is a young Colombian-born designer who’s becoming very popular worldwide. Cortazar travels in class. Now based in Paris, Cortazar cites his Versace-period upbringing in Miami as a strong influence. Cortazar’s Spring 2019 collection features summer-ready looks with sumptuously draped fabric and muted sunset colors. The clothes look like something suitable to throw on over swimsuits or to wear on their own.

These Latin American designers are leaving their mark on the world and changing fashion. You can find similar Latin American designs at ByMalka, and be among the first to adopt the newest trends in fashion!


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Colombian Design Keeps Rising!

Colombia’s creative boom is not only wowing the whole country, or South American continent, but the whole world!

Generally speaking, Latin American designers are having a great moment, with more exposure than ever before! But Colombia has mesmerized everyone with its Johana Ortiz ruffles, Aquazzura heels and Esteban Cortazar sophistication. These are only three of the great brands being showcased at the best stores around the globe like Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Intermix, Neiman Marcus among others. But others are starting to emerge as well, Silvia Tcherassi has fascinated us with her most recent collections inspired by Colombian heritage and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s literature. Stephanie Mattos, creative director from La Couture Maison impeccable taste has captured everyone’s eye, specially Nina Garcia who recently wore one of her pieces.

From our very own designers: Laura Davila golden daring pieces have been spotted multiple times on celebrities like Louise Roe and Caroline Vreeland. Palma Canaria has completely changed the meaning of a “strawbag” by innovating these baskets with new materials, shapes and interventions. Tres Almas latest Divas Embroidery Collection has been one of the must have statement earrings of the year, and lets not even begin talking about Daniela Salcedo’s success with her evil eye rings, star earrings and now lip earrings!

When you own a unique handmade piece (which we value tremendously), that has all this story, tradition and work behind it, you can feel it! It just gives it a complete different meaning and aesthetic to the whole outfit! Which is the reason why we think the overall response to all these emerging designers has been so positive.

At By Malka we are continuously working on adding new emerging designers from all over Latin America, and share all this talent, designs and passion with you!

Miami Fashion Week 2017


Which is why Miami Fashion Week 2017 kicked off yesterday with fellow Colombian designer Silvia Tcherassi. The off-shoulder look is not going anywhere, neither are ruffles and handmade basket bags.

Miami is known for being the connection between Latin America and South America with the North American continent, having becoming in the past decades the northern capital of Latin America (you could say Miami’s fist language is Spanish).  As so, Miami Fashion Week will mainly feature Latin designers including Rene Ruiz, Yirko Sivirich, Shantall Lacayo among other great talents.

Also, the fashion’s week honorary president this year Antonio Banderas will be hosting a benefit gala today June 2nd. Other guest speakers will include: Lucy Lara, editor-in-chief of Glamor Mexico & Latin America, Javier Goyeneche, president and founder of Ecoalf, Barbara Hulanichi, designer and artist, Orsola De Castro, founder and director of Fashion Revolution among others.

Most fashion runways are being carried out at the Ice Palace Film Studios and are by invitation only. But, there are other events open to the public as  the Master Class led by industry experts on sustainable fashion, and Diego Torres Concert, both on June 3rd.

This is just the beginning for Miami as another Fashion capital, and we can’t wait to see what more is to come!

Image by: Miami.com


2016 – The Year for Colombian Designers

2016 is almost over and this year Colombian designers have proven this is just the beginning.  Fashion designers from all over the country don’t seize to mesmerize the public with their creations.  Starting with Johanna Ortiz, who has conquered the world with her feminine statement silhouettes, off-the-shoulder looks and ruffled sleeves is already in all of the major retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Harrods, Intermix and among others.  And lets not forget her exclusive capsule collections for Moda Operandi, and her latest swimwear line which just launched two days ago.

In the shoe department we have the very talented Edgardo Osorio and his brand Aquazzura.  The brand was established in 2011 and it’s already a must-have for all the fashion aficionados.  Aside from being in all of the major retailers (and by all, we mean ALL), Osorio has also managed to open his own boutiques in the world’s fashion capitals: Florence (where the brand is originally from), London, New York and soon to open Miami.  This year also brought amazing collaboration opportunities for the young designer who worked with Ferragamo (Salvatore Ferragamo x Aquazzura Collection), Olivia Palermo (Olivia Palermo x Aquazzura Collection) and Naty Abascal (Naty Abascal x Aquazzura Collection).

From the same city as Edgardo Osorio, comes Silvia Tcherassi.  With over 25 years in fashion and lifestyle experience, Tcherassi has managed to not only have her own clothing line Silvia Tcherassi but also a home line Tcherassi Home and hotel chain Tcherassi Hotels.  Silvia defines her style as “effortless elegance”, name which was also given to her own book published by RandomHouse.  This year Tcherassi opened her first boutique in Europe in Madrid and gave a “facelift” to her other ateliers in Colombia and Miami, and we must say they look impeccable, her brand is not only clothes or garments but a complete lifestyle.

Esteban Cortazar and jewelry designer Paula Mendoza where the perfect Colombian duo at this year’s Paris Fashion Week.  They delighted the audience with Cortazar uninhibited style and Mendoza’s latest collection Mechano Dancer.  With only 32 years of age, Cortazar is already a well-known label among fashion editors and has been the youngest designer to debut at New York Fashion Week.

Big big congratulations to all of these amazing talents and we can not wait to see what is yet to come in 2017!