More than 60 Uruguayan fashion companies met with international buyers

Local designers had more than 90 encounters with six buyers from Japan, the United States, Peru and Chile.
Publication date: 26/10/2018

Local designers held more than 90 meetings with six buyers from Japan, the United States, Peru and Chile. This activity organized by Uruguay XXI together with the Design Chamber of Uruguay (CDU), and with the support of Moweek and the Uruguayan Wool Secretariat (SUL), is part of a continuous effort to position Uruguayan design beyond borders and add more companies to the export process.

The country's investment, export and image promotion agency, Uruguay XXI, organized a business round that united international buyers with Uruguayan design companies. This instance allowed 63 local brands of clothing, footwear and accessories to participate in more than 90 meetings with fashion companies Lisa Says Gah, Olive and Ali Golden from the United States, SHIPS from Japan, Porque te vistes from Chile and Ignacio Correa from Peru. FashionTV Colombia's fashion editor and Vogue Latin America editor Daniela Riaño also participated.

For Uruguayan companies, it represented the opportunity to have direct contact to reach international sales and validate their products as well as the brand, the proposal and the prices.

For Raquel Nicolich, representative of the Southwool bags and handbags brand, which works with 100% natural raw materials such as wool, leather, bone and guampa, it was the first experience in a round. "We have participated in Uruguay XXI workshops that update us on how to manage the business. These instances seem to me to be very good, because they represent support for companies that are new and small, that don't have the facility to meet with clients of this caliber," he explained.

Vivian Sulimovich of Zarvich said that buyers were impressed by the handmade workmanship of the products, but also by the trends. He also indicated that he managed to validate their prices. "These are very good activities that open more doors, as they brought us ideas of new markets that we had not considered, such as the Middle East," he said.

The international businessmen agreed when they highlighted the excellent quality, trends and finishes of Uruguayan products. Patricia Loayza of the Peruvian brand Ignacio Correa -who had already participated in another round of business in the country- expressed surprise with the improvements in price as well as in quality, materials and combinations.

"We have already defined working with three brands. We handle handmade leather and we lack accessories that we do not manufacture and that in Uruguay are made better, such as belts and backpacks," he explained. He added that he also serves as a spokesperson for Uruguayan fashion in his country and that he suggests other buyers options that he sees in business rounds.

Mariela Rodriguez of the Chilean brand Por qué te vistes, which also participated in this instance last year, decided to return for the quality of materials and design, and also because the products she took as a sample were very well received in their market. "I like the presentation and the concern for the aesthetics of the brand, which doesn't happen much with Latin American design. In Uruguay everything is well assembled, the materials are good, have good leather and wool and work with prints with more design," he said.

What caught the attention of Lisa Bühler, of the American brand Lisa Says Gah, was the passion that Uruguayan entrepreneurs have for their projects and the focus on sustainability. "I love fabrics, wool and the use they make of their natural resources. The quality is very high, the companies have very high standards and I was surprised by the variety of the design. I think they are all very unique and different," he said.

After the business rounds, the visitors will participate in the technical tour of the wool "Wool tour" in the department of Florida, where they could appreciate the entire production system. They also visited the Moweek, which made a preopening so that they could learn more about the creations and the quality of national design.

Since 2015, Uruguay XXI organizes activities for the fashion sector that have generated business opportunities, visibility and diffusion for design companies and bring micro, small and medium enterprises of the sector closer to the international market.