Shapewear, swimwear and men’s underwear may be the first categories that come to mind when thinking about Colombia’s apparel sector, but Maria Luisa Duque Navarro, regional director for ProColombia, the entity in charge of promoting international tourism, foreign direct investment and non-traditional exports for Colombia, said the country is also a leader in South America for denim design.
Colombia’s design chops took center stage at Colombiamoda in Medellín July 26-28, where women’s and dual-gender denim brands presented collections dense with color and body-hugging fits, and a taste of the looser fits that are picking up momentum in other global markets.
American Courtney offered the widest range of denim. Key fits for the “Made in Colombia” brand included boyfriend, flare, mom and wide-leg jeans—the latter featuring zip-up sides for a flash of skin. Elements of vintage denim like high-waisted silhouettes and ’80s-inspired washes trended, as well as small but impactful details like beaded belt loops.
Coated miniskirts, miniskirts with uneven hems and denim bike shorts offered summer alternatives to jeans. Women’s denim shorts veered toward looser fits and longer lengths with cutoff and shredded details. Overalls and jean jackets available in both boxy 100 percent cotton constructions and stretchy shrunken styles rounded out the women’s collection.
American Courtney’s line for men focused on skinny, slim and straight fits. The brand is also seeing interest in jean shorts.
New brand Dolshe is also betting on denim shorts for men. The brand, owned by a Bogotá-based jeans manufacturer, takes design cues from trends sweeping Instagram and TikTok, including paint splatter, patchwork and rip and repair.
Highlights include cropped white jeans with indigo appliques on the leg and two-tone back pocket details.
Reading the fashion tea leaves, In Fashion went all in with looser fits. In a nod to WGSN’s 2023 color of the year, Digital Lavender, the brand showed overdyed lavender straight fit jeans with undone hems. Meanwhile, its wide-leg jeans featured knee-high side splits for a hint of skin.
Toxic Jeans opted for purple denim as well. High stretch pencil skirts were the brand’s main items, however. Shiny gold buttons added a dressy element to button-flys. Side adjusters ensure a figure-hugging fit.
Miniskirts, exposed buttons and double waistbands were also a part of Fresh Jeans’ arsenal for sexy denim looks.
Curve-enhancing seam details were core to Glue Star’s denim range. Though skinny fits dominated the line, the brand added flare fits that hug the hips and thighs. Glue Star’s more premium sister brand Misshop leaned into bell shapes and rose gold hardware. The brand also edged into workwear-inspired looks with wide-leg jeans with patch pockets made with ecru fabrications.
From ultra-wide waistbands to contoured rears, Carlos Prada Jeans used all the tricks of the trade to create a snatched waist. The collection offered glammed-up takes on the skinny jean, pairing dark indigo washes with high shine gold trims, buttons and chain belts. Horse bit trims on the back of jeans’ waist bands elevated the brand’s premium range.
Vibrant colors like yellow, green and pink updated skinny fits, as well as leather-like coatings and two-tone indigo piece work.
Feeling consumers’ shift to looser fits, Carlos Prada mixed in pleated cargo jeans while maintaining its signature exposed button-fly. The brand also featured a light wash wide-leg jean with a soft hand feel. Rips and a shredded waistband underscored the style’s relaxed vibe.
Sibley highlighted cargo denim joggers as well, but in clean and dark washes. Other trend details like frayed seams down the leg and front patch pockets kept core skinny fits interesting.
Follies: The Art of Denim met the market demand for variety with trouser jeans with prominent creases, flare fits and more wide-leg jeans with split sides. Soft pink feminized the brand’s workwear-inspired denim made with 100 percent cotton. The brand’s colorful sets, however, delivered a dopamine fix to the show floor. Available in orange, Kelly green, cobalt blue and Barbiecore pink, the coordinating slim-fitting jean jackets and skinny jeans channeled ’90s Versace vibes.
Hot hues were also part of Loa Denim’s range. Shrunken versions of the colorful skinny jeans (with an elastic waist) were available for kids too.
In the details
Colombiamoda also welcomed several trims manufacturers, giving attendees a glimpse at what’s to come in denim trends.
With the preppy trend kicking into gear, Mundos Insumos focused on varsity letters and collegiate-inspired patches for jeans and jean jackets. The company presented initials and romantic words like “lover” and “amore” in pastel chenille.
Hot fix stones, sequins, metallic foil screen prints and 3D rubber appliques added texture and shine, while teddy bear-shaped patches, bunny motifs and Paris-themed details underscored the ultra-feminine aesthetic.
Fashion Insumos focused on jewelry-like details for jeans. Metal button spanned rose gold to coated options in shades of green, teal and neon pink, yellow, orange and green. Shiny silver D-ring buckles were applied to pockets with flaps, while traditional back pocket designs featured star-shaped studs and crystal embellishments.
As an alternative to utilitarian self-belts, the company offered a variety of rhinestone belt buckles to pair with denim. It also made a strong case for denim piercings by threading septum rings through grommets.