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Denim Takes Over the Runway at Colombiamoda

One part trade show, one part runway show, Colombiamoda in Medellín July 26-28 was home to new denim looks by designers, students and celebrities at every turn. While high-waisted and skinny fits owned the trade show floor, the catwalk was home to bohemian designs, double denim and heaps of youth-driven streetwear.

Colombian fashion brand Gef summed up denim’s streetwear aesthetic in a collection with multi-hyphenated superstar Maluma and his sister Manuela Londoño. Benefiting the siblings’ El Arte de los Sueños Foundation, which provides adolescents in vulnerable situations access to programs in the arts, the unisex collection featured hoodies, tees and ribbed knits in jolts of “blue for singing, yellow for percussion and magenta for dancing.”

The colorful pieces paired back to the line’s deep range of denim that spanned two-tone jackets, shackets, cargo jeans, vests, shorts and more. Tonal patchwork and high-contrast fades added dimension to the mostly light wash collection. The line’s co-branded orange label punctuated pieces in unexpected places.

A native of Medellín, Maluma said it was important to feel connected to the project. “I really love everything…but the most special thing is that my El Arte de los Sueños Foundation is involved,” he said. “We really do this for the children, for the city and the new generations. I think that is my favorite part.”

The “Marry Me” and “Encanto” star bowed a gender-fluid collection with Macy’s earlier this year.

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Johana Bahamón, an actress and advocate for Colombia’s incarcerated and post-prison population, partnered with Colombian department store Grupo Exito on a collection that provides job and learning opportunities to people trying to get their lives back on track.

Inspired by dopamine dressing, the collection delivered overdyed and laser-printed denim and on-trend fits like low and slouchy jeans, cargo jeans and miniskirts. Overalls and oversized pockets on jackets brought a utilitarian vibe to the collection. Inside-out constructions added a pop of the unexpected. Fringe, embroidery, and mesh details were reminders of festival culture’s grip on fashion.

The denim pieces were paired with bright pink and lime green knits, a kaleidoscope of bucket hats and equally colorful wallet chains with a matte finish.

Reset Denim presented its rocker-inspired collection of jeans and jackets made with Brazilian mill Vicunha’s sustainable fabrics. Jackets featured arms and hems that zip off to create new fits. Metallic coatings added stage presence.

Perhaps signaling the early signs of a boho revival, Tennis and Colombiana channeled the 2010s blogger aesthetic with felted hats, cowboy booties and novelty denim. Jean jackets and shirts featured textile paneling, desert-hued embroidery and fringe. Boyfriend jeans were topped off with turquoise belts and bold belt buckles. Oversized grommets offered a fresh take on the cutout trend for denim.

The Diseño + Talento event showcased designs by the students and graduates of the Faculty of Costume Design of the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana de Medellín. Denim provided a common ground across the various designers’ looks, which spanned ombre patchwork dresses and frayed hems transformed into ruffled skirts to hand-painted jean jackets.