6 Things to Know About Johanna Ortiz

2 years ago

She’s put Colombia on the fashion map

In 2003, Johanna Ortiz couldn’t have imagined that her young label from Cali, Colombia, would have the world’s attention by 2018. Her incredible success story proves that you don’t need to be based in fashion centres like Milan, London, New York or Paris to make waves. (Although, Paris Fashion Week did come calling with her eventual fame.) She’s now firmly footed in the league of Colombian designers to reckon with such has Haider Ackermann and Edgardo Osorio (of Aquazzura fame).

Designer Johanna Ortiz Portrait
Johanna Ortiz

She’s had a remarkable start

After graduating from The Art Institute, Florida, Ortiz returned to Colombia. In 2001, she started her innings with an eponymous couture label. By 2014, she was showing at the country’s biggest fashion weeks, Colombiamoda in Medellin and Circulo de la Moda in Bogota.

She’s had some major fashion moments

In 2014 Lauren Santo Domingo’s Moda Operandi snapped up her label for an exclusive collection – after which there was simply no looking back. That, and a dedicated window at New York’s Bergdorf Goodman meant Ortiz had well and truly arrived. And this September, she made her India debut with Le Mill!

She’s got a signature style

You can always count on Ortiz to inject her collections with Latin American flair. You’ll want her ruffles, bare shoulders, strong colours and bows. She creates pieces that take women from “beach to the bar,” as she puts it. She’ll even offer feminine, functional and romantic takes on men’s shirts. In her Fall ’18 line, for instance, she’s referenced cowboys. Her interpretation brings us plaid shirts with voluminous sleeves, tie-up fronts, and bold collars.

She’s got celebrity clients (of course!)

The illustrious list includes the likes of Beyonce, Olivia Palermo, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba.

She’s a true global ambassador

Today, Ortiz with her husband and three sons, has homes in Cali, Cartagena Miami and New York. She’s truly a global ambassador for Colombian style. She leads with her actions – she helms a 380-women strong company, a significant percentage of whom are heads of households. Ortiz has even launched an on-site training programme, that offers free, professional level embroidery and seamstress courses to encourage employee hopefuls. Initiatives such as these have garnered her invitations to the White House and the United Nations.

Shop Johanna Ortiz Fall ’18 at Le Mill