Three separate fashion events occurring in Colombia’s second city, Medellin, in July, highlight the diversity of the city’s design culture, displaying the best in high, commercial, and alternative fashion.
The upcoming events Colombiamoda, Moda para el Mundo and Alfombra Fckxia are comparable in that they are three fashion displays that occur in Colombia’s “fashion capital” nearly simultaneously, with runway shows and various additional attractions, but beyond that, the events claim very different goals and serve unique purposes.
Colombiamoda, which is arguably Medellin’s most famous fashion show, is a three-day event that displays the work of influential local and international designers from the “high fashion” world, with fashion lines by Colombian models, presentations by Vogue and this year’s international guests being the acclaimed Italian duo Leitmotiv and the Brazilian-Japanese design label Akihito Hira.
Approximately 450 designers attend the show, which takes place at the city’s Plaza Mayor from July 27-29 and rakes in a great deal of money from thousands of international buyers.
Moda para el Mundo, meanwhile, held for the past eight years during the same three-day time span in the city center’s “El Hueco” district, is in a sense the flip-side of Colombiamoda, put together by local micro-businesses, and showcasing the more commercial, urban trends that the city has to offer.
According to the event website, Moda para el Mundo “is the commercial expression of businesses specialized in producing fashion that is within the reach of everyone” and “a space created to propose a distinct vision of the fashion system.” The event organizers also make the space accessible for designers with less resources, providing an arena for female weavers and a training school for models.
The third event, less well-known than Colombiamoda or its commercial equivalent, but just as important for its representation of Medellin fashion and culture, will be put on by Alfombra Fckxia, an alternative space with an irreverent name that exists for emerging designers and artists in Medellin’s “underground,” and rejects current trends in favor of that which is new and different.
Though Alfombra Fckxia events support local businesses in a similar way as Moda para el Mundo, those showcasing products are the designers themselves, who often use recycled materials in their hand-made and home-made designs. Marcelino Arango, the event’s creator, told Colombia Reports that the space serves as “a response to the need to promote emerging designers and artists, who have alternative ideas”, adding that “we act as a space for the diffusion and development of contemporary creative thought.”
The next Alfombra event, titled “La Cosa Criolla,” will occur a week before Colombiamoda and Moda para el Mundo, on July 21-23, at the city’s Premium Plaza shopping center, kicking off what is known as “The week of Colombian fashion,” with a show that includes not only fashion designers, but also independent visual artists, dancers, musicians and culinary arts.