Collection “Origin”, by Diego Guarnizo for Bogotá Fashion Week 2020. / Courtesy
Bogota Fashion Week returns. The new edition of the event, which seeks to position the city as a fashion business capital of international stature, will be held from May 19 to 21 at the Ágora, in Bogotá. The Chamber of Commerce of the capital created the space as a commercial and promotional platform to help position the industry in the country and in the world, promote the creative talent of emerging and established designers, strengthen their brands and expand their market.
It is worth remembering that, in 2021, the organizers decided not to hold the BFW and, in 2020, the event had to be changed due to the pandemic, so it was held between September 30 and October 3, seeking to contribute to the economic reactivation of the sector. Last year, Bogotá Fashion Week (BFW) focused on commercial activations, curatorship and preparation so that companies and designers can present their proposals in person in 2022.
Also read: Reactivate the fashion sector, the objective of Bogotá Fashion Week 2020
We are talking about a very important sector for the Colombian economy. According to figures from Inexmoda, in January 2022 spending on fashion stood at $2.39 trillion, 8.9% more than that registered in the same month of 2021 and 1.9% higher compared to the same month of 2020. The fashion basket represented 3.3% of household spending in January, approaching the pre-pandemic share, which in January 2020 was 3.6%.
As for Bogotá, the fashion sector closed 2021 with 32,454 active companies, 4.3% more than those active in 2020 (31,111 companies), but 12.2% less than the companies that were active at the end of 2019 (36,943 companies). ), according to figures from the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce.
The sector is made up of 96.6% microentrepreneurs, small entrepreneurs (2.8%), medium entrepreneurs (0.4%) and large entrepreneurs (0.1%).
In addition, the sector closed 2021 with 5,360 new registrations for Bogotá and the 59 municipalities, which represented 8.8% more than in 2020, but 13.6% less than 2019 (when 6,201 companies were created), this shows that the fashion sector is still 841 companies below pre-pandemic levels.
Thus, in this edition, in which 100 designers will participate and which has a concept of inclusion, diversity and sustainability, it will focus on the internationalization and economic reactivation of companies in the sector. We spoke with María Paz Gaviria, platform manager of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, to learn about the news of the event.
What did you do during the pandemic to support designers?
The BFW played a critical role for the independent design community during the pandemic. Without a doubt, it was one of the hardest hit sectors and we made the decision to continue with all the support processes. We reformulated the bet we were making to be able to respond to those immediate needs derived from the pandemic, we opened opening channels for designers, we set up the Bazzarbog platform and we offered virtual conversations.
Why is it important to hold Bogotá Fashion Week?
This initiative is much more than a fashion week. It is based on a work that does a previous accompaniment with designers, who works online to promote business and generate this specialized consultancy. In addition, open training lines that generate a platform where we are ready to open up fashion and offer internationalization processes.
Our strategy, from the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, seeks to cover a broader spectrum of independent designers to have a better impact on the industries in which we work. This, integrated with our three cluster initiatives, allows us to focus on a sector that is essential for economic reactivation.
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In 2021 they made the decision not to hold the event, what happened that year?
We made a great call in 2021 in which we received around 400 applications from established, emerging and new designers from all over the country. From there, we made a selection of 100 brands from categories such as women, children, swimwear, men, jewelry, footwear, leather goods, among others.
After selecting the designers, we started a curatorship and a specialized consultancy with Salman Khokhar, leader of Kollective Moda, to know the quality and innovation of the proposals and their skills and business maturity. This is in line with the conception that we have in the Chamber of believing that creativity is promoted by working on business strengthening processes.
We were also focused on international promotion to attract large buyers.
When will Bogotá Fashion Week 2022 take place?
We are excited to return to an in-person format. The event will take place between May 19 and 21. The opening will be on May 18. We will have 15 catwalks, five daily on the central stage of the venue.
What will be the novelties of this edition?
We will have a wholesale market space, which is dedicated to specialized sales with close to 80 international buyers. It is a decanted sample of between 10 to 15 pieces, which are selected to show in that exhibition space. Our great objective is to contribute to businesses from the preparation to the moment of generating spaces for sales.
We will also have retail sales, a new space dedicated to a broader public and in which we hope to receive approximately 20,000 people during the three days. In addition, we will have a store where you can buy pieces from the current collection of designers.
What will the academic agenda focus on?
The agenda will be focused on sustainability, inclusion and diversity. This space is very important because it links industry, academia and the productive sector. The conversations will have a hybrid format that seeks, with national and international guests, the generation of academic content, new business practices, training around fashion and other disciplines.
Do you have any sales expectations?
We expect significant reactivation figures, which will reach millions of dollars, but we do not have estimates.
Why bet on fashion?
I am convinced that creativity and culture can generate great processes of transformation in our society. From the Chamber we generate processes with a high impact on economic development and that, without a doubt, open up great opportunities for internationalization for businesses, but also for the image of our city and country. BFW impacts the entire business ecosystem of our city and region.