Recognizing that there is a pressing need to redefine the fashion industry, Estefania Lacayo and Samantha Tams founded the Latin American Fashion Summit (LAFS), to encourage emerging creatives and Latin American entrepreneurs to embrace shifts in design, material sourcing and socially responsible manufacturing, as well as the new technologies and business models shaping today’s challenging business climate. And following the success of their inaugural event last November in Mexico - the first fashion summit organized in Latin America - the entrepreneurs are now planning a second edition for 2019.
Held at the Andaz Mayakono Resort, Riviera Maya, Lacayo and Tams, with over 15 years experience in luxury fashion and retail, brought together a new generation of designers with executives, buyers, media representatives and investors for the 2018 summit, to exchange their experiences, struggles and successes across a series of panel discussions, workshops and networking events. And with a focus on sustainability, technology and social responsibility, the duo were also determined to equip undiscovered Latin American talent with know-how, and introduce the vast natural resources the region has to offer.
Among the speakers in Mexico were Paris-based Colombian designer Esteban Cortazar, fellow Colombian and jewelry designer Paula Mendoza, jeweler and Mexico native Daniella Villegas, Armarium’s Trisha Gregory, Daniel Funis, Marketing Director of Farfetch Latin America, and Karla Martinez De Salas, Editor in Chief Vogue Mexico and Latin America. Topics explored during the event ranged from the future of Latin American fashion to reinventing retail and omni-channel marketing strategies; transparency, upcycling and ethical fashion.
And reinforcing the summit’s aim to create real industry ties for emerging talent, the Pitch to LAFS competition saw Kika Vargas scoop the 2018 award. The Colombian designer, who works between New York, Madrid and Bogotá, not only secured a sum of $10,000 for her business, but her prize included the opportunity to sell her collection on Farfetch for a year, showcase five styles at Armarium for two months with online and social media coverage, and host a trunkshow at Tootsies’ flagship store in Houston.
Building on the success of the first summit – the event attracted more than 320 participants from 20 countries - the second edition of LAFS is scheduled to take place from 13th to 17th November in the Colombian city of Cartagena. Stay tuned for further details.