Prior to this new era of growth, Colombia went through a period of violence and corruption brought on by drug wars that overshadowed Colombian-based talent and prevented many international brands from wanting to invest in the country. In recent years, though, many steps have been taken to shake off this image to make Colombia safer and more inviting to foreign investors and brands.
Kelly Talamas, former editor-in-chief and recently appointed creative director for Vogue México & Latin América states, "Roughly around 2009 to 2010, there was a change of mind regarding Colombia in general - a more hopeful outlook on its potential. Around this time, the country became safer and there was this Wild West effect because, aside from a few pioneers like Louis Vuitton, MaxMara and Hugo Boss, it was an unexploited market for investors and for international brands."
Alex Zielcke, CEO and Founder of Executives S.A.S., the company behind the landmark Colombian multibrand shop Le Collezioni can also attest to the change in Colombia. His group operates franchised monobrand stores, shop-in-shops and concessions for many global luxury brands, including Ermenegildo Zegna, Salvatore Ferragamo, Hacket and Michael Kors.
"When I started my first luxury retail company 20 years ago back then, business was very difficult to set-up and to operate and frankly, the customer wasn't used to buying these kinds of goods. But now look where we are," he says.
Many Colombian-born designers have helped shape the Latin American fashion industry including Nancy Gonzalez, Haider Ackermann and Esteban Cortázar.
Now during an era of peace, many others are seeing their creations reach the international fashion scene including Edgardo Osorio of Aquazzura, Paula Mendoza and Melissa Losada Bofill and Marcela Velez, the duo behind M2Malletier.
Johanna Ortiz, whose Tulum top was a best seller after being worn by New York socialites, is another Colombian designer who has reached the international fashion scene. Her collection was featured during the July 2016 Colombiamoda, Latin America's largest fashion trade show.
Having had operations in Colombia since 1977, YKK Colombia S.A. has had over four decades of experience in selling YKK® brand zippers to the domestic Colombian market. The company sells YKK's metal, coil and VISLON® fasteners for the corset, garment, ready-to-wear, jacket, jeans, pants, coverall, disposable wear, industrial wear, footwear, government, furniture, luggage, home sewing and retail industries.
In 2004, the company joined the YKK Group, and recently on April 1, 2017, it changed its name from Jen Colombia S.A. to YKK Colombia S.A. YKK Colombia S.A. is ready to serve international investors as they set up operations in Colombia.
Commenting on YKK Colombia's involvement in the fashion industry, General Manager, María del Carmen Sánchez García says, "Colombia has become a fashion center of Latin America thanks to different fashion fairs including Colombia Tex de las Americas, Colombia Moda, Bogota Fashion Week, and Platform K, as well as renowned designers and brands. As a result, YKK Colombia S.A.S. is constantly researching what happens around the fashion world not only nationally, but also internationally. Since the fashion industry is one of the most changing industries, the challenge is to update ourselves every day.
"Our objective is to design communication tools focused on each of our customers, identifying the industry and trends according to colors, sizes, slider designs and zippers that may be applicable according to the needs of each one.
"The market changes constantly, and the consumer is becoming more demanding, therefore as a company we must be very agile in our response and generate added value to have a clearer approach to our customers.
"At YKK Colombia S.A.S. we always make sure we are up-to-date in fashion trends so that we may provide our clients with the best advice and support for their collections, and so that our zipper will be their first choice."