Uruguayan fashion lands in New York to showcase its creativity with deep roots in environmental and social consciousness.

Seven brands of slow fashion clothing design will participate with Uruguay XXI in two crucial international fairs to generate business opportunities.
Publication date: 21/08/2023

Seven Uruguayan fashion design brands will participate in the trade fairs of U.S. Designers & Agents (September 17-19) and Coterie (September 19-21). There, the companies Celmo, Jibona, Margara Shaw, Margo Baridon, ound, Savia, and the farra will exhibit their summer collections with accessories, garments, and swimwear and seek to position the national fashion industry in foreign markets.

The common denominator of these brands is the creativity of their creations, which combine local identity with global trends. Uruguayan fashion is unique for its capacity to innovate and commitment to sustainability and ethical production, which takes care of skilled labor and the environment.

This Uruguayan industry is slow fashion and conquers the most demanding global public with original designs and noble local raw materials such as wool, leather, and stones. All this will be demonstrated by the brands participating in the two major trade fairs to be held in New York.

“We make timeless and quality pieces so they are long-lasting,” said Jibona founder and director Jimena Bonomo. Jibona will be presenting at Coterie with its 2024 swimwear line. “Our products are ethically manufactured in Uruguay using European recycled fabrics and sustainable production practices,” she added.

The Jibona line is made with sustainable materials, fabrics made from regenerated polyamide found in oceans and waste landfills.

Celmo, another of the brands to be presented at Coterie, works to minimize environmental impact and not generate excess garments.

“Going to Coterie allows us to exhibit our garments and serves as a meeting point to carry out our main objective, which is to export and internationalize,” said its founders, designer María Tocco and Marketing graduate Antonella Scaldaferri.

The brand has already been marketed in Barcelona and Madrid -with e-commerce that allows shipments worldwide- and has even made sales in Korea.

Celmo will carry summer garments, linen prints, some embroidered denim pieces, knitwear, and printed satin clothing, all inspired by nature and architecture.

Opening other points of sale, selling more, and targeting small luxury boutiques with the same values as her brand is part of the objectives that Savia’s director, Helena Betolaza, set for herself. “The possibility of going to Coterie opens the door to a new world, not only to internationalize the brand to the United States and Central America but also to European markets such as Spain and France,” she explained.

Savia will exhibit a collection for cool summer nights that includes Uruguay’s representative fine wool as a raw material. Betolaza explained that “abroad, it is appreciated that our ateliers are the most important link in our production chain.”

Since its beginnings, Savia has worked with linen and now innovates with the addition of handmade finishes with materials such as leather or crochet embroidery and frayed.

The farra, a brand born in 2019, also uses for its garments -several of them handmade- high-quality materials such as fine wool, cotton, linen, and other natural fibers. “We collaborate with local artisans, crafting sustainable, timeless, and free-spirited garments,” they explained.

Margo Baridon’s brand will be presented with a collection made in cotton, denim, and linen, with creations shaped by “voluminous shapes, laborious details, exquisite craftsmanship for a truly timeless and authentic aesthetic.” Margara Shaw will present her “simple, timeless garments” from high-quality materials. “The passion we invest in all our designs makes us unique,” they explained.

Under the direction of Paula Delgado, the ound brand will be at Designers & Agents. Ound works only with sustainable and biodegradable materials and describes itself as “a project about nature, silk dyed with artisanal pigments obtained from food and plant waste, and hand-woven undyed wool."

This is the second time that ound goes to a fair with Uruguay XXI. Earlier this year, they had participated in another fair in Paris as part of the Pyme al mundo program, and thanks to European and Asian contacts made there, they returned with several orders.

Their strong points are the winter collections with hand-knitted wool pullovers in ecru merino wool, brown Corriedale, and a mixture of these two fibers. But they also work with natural silk from Europe dyed in their workshop with natural colors obtained from plants and food scraps.

Both Designers & Agents and Coterie will bring together all the players in the fashion industry, designers, buyers, sellers, and entrepreneurs worldwide. Uruguay XXI and the Uruguayan Chamber of Design were in charge of selecting the Uruguayan companies that would be part of the delegation in coordination with the fair organizers. To make up this representation of the country, priority was given to the value of the origin of the products that each company exhibits, the use of raw materials and local labor, and the impact on the development of the national industry.

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