Uruguayan fashion brands export after participating with Uruguay XXI in New York trade fairs

Uruguayan fashion began to see the fruits of its participation in Coterie and Designers & Agents in 2023
Publication date: 02/05/2024

Uruguayan fashion, recognized for its commitment to sustainability and creativity, reached a new milestone in its international trajectory by participating in the Designers & Agents (D&A) and Coterie fairs in New York in 2023. This achievement, which leveraged the visibility of national brands abroad, also began showing tangible results in exports and trade relations.

With the support of Uruguay XXI and the Uruguayan Chamber of Design, seven brands -Celmo, Jibona, Margara Shaw, Margo Baridon, Ound, Savia, and The Farra- had the opportunity to present their summer collections to a global audience and demonstrate the potential and uniqueness of Uruguayan slow fashion.

Both events represented a showcase for the brands, allowing them to exhibit their designs and interact with buyers and other key players in the sector.

In the words of the protagonists, the mission’s results exceeded expectations. Four of the seven participating companies succeeded in making their first formal export. This step reflects the interest and acceptance of their products in international markets and sets a precedent for future export initiatives.

In addition, all the brands established commercial ties with the United States, which augurs well for the growth of these Uruguayan faucets abroad.

These first purchase orders, totaling US$50,000, are testimony to the effort, quality, and dedication of the Uruguayan brands. These brands have skilfully combined creativity with environmental and social commitment. Through their designs, these companies not only promote a more conscious and sustainable fashion but also project a positive image of Uruguay as an innovative and creative country.

Participation in Coterie and D&A has not only served as an essential platform for Uruguayan brands toward internationalization but also demonstrated the strength and added value that slow fashion can bring to the global market while underscoring the importance of an industry that is moving responsibly toward the future, placing value on local talent and the country’s natural resources, such as wool.

International experts trained 29 brands to enter the U.S. market.

Now, in a free event open to all those involved in the sector, 29 brands participated in Uruguay in a workshop on the U.S. fashion industry and market given by representatives of MMGNET Group, the main promoters of Coterie, the sector’s largest international trade fair.

During the training organized by the investment and export promotion institute, Uruguay XXI, international business consultants Alejandra Boland and Edgar Irizarry offered perspectives on the latest trends in the U.S. fashion industry, strategies, and details of its main shows aimed at better understanding the market and preparing designers to start the export process.

“Participating in a fair gives you a better knowledge of how the market is in the United States; they are the most effective platform to reach the fashion audience,” said Boland, who emphasized the importance of networking, strengthening business ties, and seeking support in the community during the workshop.

“There is much talent in wool designs and its different techniques, which is attractive in the United States,” said Irizarry.

“What makes Uruguay special is that it has a story to tell: how they treat the animals makes their wool superior. It is important what they do with the environment, with the cleaning of the water before returning it to the waterways, with the reuse of the wool grease, that is very impressive. It is important to talk about it,” he said.

The day after the conference, where Boland and Irizarry informed about the North American fairs of different profiles such as Magic (oriented to brands with accessible to moderate prices), Project (thought for contemporary clothing of medium to high prices), as well as Coterie, several brands previously registered received a 20-minute feedback. There, the experts analyzed the value proposition, coherence of the collection, prices, materials, and the linesheet or catalog with their representatives. This was intended to help the entrepreneurs outline a strategy for accessing new international markets.