Our family has a tradition of traveling during the Christmas holidays. Sometimes it ties in a Lesetta work trip, but mostly, it is just for fun. On December 26, 2019 we ventured to Cartagena and Bogotá, Colombia. Colombia had been in my bucket list for years and especially exotic Cartagena. I had heard of the beauty and history, as well as the cuisines. And, it did not disappoint. The more I researched that part of the world, I learned more and more about the fabulous progressive design scene in Bogotá.
After an amazing visit to Cartagena - exploring, surfing, eating, drinking, bringing in the New Year while watching fireworks in the rooftop of our hotel, and touring neighboring islands, I traveled to Bogotá. It is there that I met my wonderful new friend, Angelina Guerrera.
This queen of style and art and a true ambassador of the Bogotá design scene, Angelina showed me the city, the sights, the street art, the Gold Museum, several amazing exhibits on the Guerrilla history of the country, fabulous art galleries, and more. Her knowledge was endless and her affection for her homeland was contagious.
For several days, Angelina took me to visit many jewelry and clothing designers, artisans and tastemakers around Bogotá. The creativity and the devotion to using high-quality materials, mostly from natural resources of the country, as well as preserving the land and the indigenous culture in the designs, was prevalent among all of the Colombians I met.
Manuela Alvarez, who studied fashion in Milan, retuned home and launched her stunning clothing line. She combines the finest silks, wools, and Italian leather with weaving details from indigenous groups that she inserts into most all of her styles. We love offering her woven belts and bags that were created on ancient looms, by highly-skilled Colombian artisans.
The brilliant and creative Aysha Bilgrami, whose father is Pakistani and mother is Colombian, creates her ultra-wearable pieces of recycled silver sourced from x-rays and with a Colombian and Pakistani influence. She uses semi-precious stones from both countries that are sustainably sourced.
The visit culminated in a delicious brunch at the Casa Cicuta - an amazing retail and event space established to promote local designers and showcase the art and cuisine of Bogotá. It is by appointment only, and definitely worth a visit.
Besides being the second most bio-diverse country on the planet, the people, food and scenery of Colombia are fabulous! We barely scratched the surface of this dynamic land. Future trips back to this magical country are definitely on the horizon.