From March 13th to 15th took place the event Raíces by LAFS, held in Santo Domingo's historic Colonial City.
LAFS is a leading platform with a mission to elevate and enrich the Latin American fashion community, it brought the world back to the Latin America region with its new conference and networking event, Raíces by LAFS.
The LAFS community gathered for a three-day event that featured inspiring conferences by industry leaders such as Karla Martínez de Salas from Vogue Mexico & Latin America, Raúl López from Luar, and Esteban Cortázar. Intimate talks with fashion experts like María Williams from Net-a-Porter and buyers from Shopbop and Nordstrom, luxury brand activations with firms like Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors, networking activities, and a pop-up showcasing an exquisite curation of Latin American design were also part of the exciting agenda. Guests enjoyed a glamorous Opening Ceremony, presented by Johnny Walker Gold Label, inspired by the Caribbean nights. The event took place in some of Santo Domingo's most picturesque locations, including Casa de los Vitrales, Fortaleza Ozama, and select restaurants such as Maraca, Naca’n, and the recently inaugurated Coucou, making it the perfect opportunity to discover the beauty of the Dominican Republic, a country that has it all!
On March 13th, LAFS co-founders Estefanía Lacayo and Samantha Tams, along with local Minister of Tourism David Collado and CEO of Grupo SID Ligia Bonetti, cut the ribbon to formally open the event at the historic fortress in Santo Domingo. The Ministry of Tourism, Grupo SID, Marca País, CCN, Volvo, and BHD were the main sponsors of the event, which was a resounding success. Thanks to Claro, the conferences were live broadcast to inspire and enrich the LAFS community worldwide through LAFS Virtual Summit.
Renowned editors from iconic magazines, talented photographers such as Luís Alberto Rodríguez, and designers including Peter Pilotto, Christopher de Vos Caballero, Esteban Cortázar, and Ángel Sánchez, were among the esteemed guests at this warm and memorable event. Prestigious buyers, such as Molly Nutter, Joseph Tang, Trisha Gregory, and Elizabeth Kanfer, also attended. The event provided a unique opportunity for industry professionals to establish valuable connections, making it an annual unmissable gathering for anyone in the fashion industry.
"Raíces by LAFS' first edition was a success! The eyes of the global fashion industry turned to the vibrant Colonial City of Santo Domingo, a place surrounded by history and Latin flair! On our first visit, it inspired us to come together with our Latin community with the big dream to bring the world to this magical place to boost opportunities, build connections, and promote business, and so we did," stated Samantha Tams.
In addition to the LAFS Agenda, the Ministry of Tourism introduced “Turizoneando,” an exciting list of the best cultural experiences that the city has to offer, including the exquisite chocolate tour Kahkow Experience, Jenny Polanco's "Ode to the Caribbean" at the Peña Defilló Museum, Mónica and Fernando Varela's "Two Varelas, One World," and "Presence," the private art collection of the Cultural Heritage of the Directorate of Customs. These experiences were a perfect complement to the LAFS event and provided guests with a unique opportunity to explore the rich cultural heritage of Santo Domingo.
"We created LAFS to show the world everything Latin American fashion and culture have to offer. It was beautiful to launch Raíces by LAFS with the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Tourism, David Collado, who has the mission of supporting local talent and the economy. Contemplating the event's impact on Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone inspired me to keep fighting for our region," added Estefanía Lacayo.
The event showcased beautiful crafts and ancestral techniques that reminded us of the importance of going back to our roots to seize the future. Raíces by LAFS is a celebration of Latin American fashion and culture, and it has been widely acclaimed for its contribution to the promotion and recognition of the region's unique fashion heritage.