In the frame of the Latin American Fashion Summit that took place from November 11 through 15, 2019 in Cartagena, Colombia, the “Latin American Challenges and Solutions in the Industry” panel was presented. The participants were:
Ana Faria – Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Boho Hunter
Leonora Jiménez – Model, entrepreneur and director of MBFW San José
Esteban Cortázar – Designer
Pamela Ocampo – Fashion consultant, editor and content creator
Moderator: Samantha Tams – Co-Founder of Latin American Fashion Summit
LAFS is a yearly conference of retail that gives real opportunities to entrepreneurs, designers, stylists, editors, students, top executives in the retail industry in Latin America and the Hispanics living in the U.S. to grow their businesses.
Some of the challenges pointed out were: there is no close relationship between factories and designers, the factories don’t accept small orders, only big ones which are very often from foreign brands. Also, the fashion designer must see himself/herself as an entrepreneur; the pricing strategy must be coherent and if you are exporting take into account export taxes.
There is a need for suitable platforms, previously all the Fashion Weeks were only for exposure, now they must be integral. In addition to generating exposure, there must be a good selection of guests, commercialization for both, emerging and consolidated designers, able to make international public relations, networking. The fashion industry in Latin America needs to be articulated.
There are 4 keys to organize a good fashion show:
- Key international alliances
- Platform led by the government and the private sector
The panelists said that authentic brands are the ones that succeed and that is seen through the proposal, they maintain an identity within a commercial framework.
Brands should think about the ease of the buyer, have a high-quality look, designers should not let influence themselves from what other brands do.
When you ask for government funding for a project, demonstrate the economic impact it could have in the country. The industry must be united and together able to demonstrate that the fashion industry is relevant.
Some factors that affect the growth of Latin design are informality when exporting, high tariffs which is a pending task for the governments.
The panelists concluded: do things right from the beginning, do not copy designs, the rules changed, it is no longer necessary to have a big fashion show and be featured on Vogue to succeed, be rigorous businessmen first and then artists, unite the industry. In Latin America, we have four things very valuable: heart, legacy, history, know how to connect easily.
Latin American fashion is going through a historic moment, let’s take advantage of it to work together for the growth of our the region, that is the purpose of LAFS.