Amelia Toro, uses a colorful, embroidered fabric called mola in her creations, giving her coats and dresses a special Colombian touch.
Mola is traditionally made by the women of the indigenous Kuna people who live in the coastal Caribbean area of Colombia near the Panamanian border.
Toro also gets inspiration from the Wayuu and Putumayo tribes. She said, “My purpose is in mixing these cultures in a sophisticated and elegant way, so that these crafts continue and heritage is not lost.”
The designer pays a fair price to her suppliers and uses only sustainable, eco-friendly fabrics.
Toro has a policy of hiring single women who are the head of their household in her workshop, and her 40 full-time employees receive pensions and health care benefits.
Over 60% of her clothes are bought by foreign clients including Katie Couric, Marisa Tomei and Kim Basinger.
Other high-profile Colombian fashion designers include Pepa Pombo, Silvia Tcherassi, and Esteban Cortazar. Internationally acclaimed designer Carolina Herrera is from neighboring Venezuela.