In Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, a city declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the historic downtown has been transformed into a versatile location for national and international designers. This April, and strategically days away from the international Fashion Week, which takes place May 2nd and 3rd, Salvatore Ferragamo opened its doors with a captivating brand new boutique, a red carpet, and its latest collection.Located inside an old mansion, the store’s essence adds an Italian touch to the ever-growing fashion possibilities of this Caribbean city. With a splendorous illuminated window display, the new space was built upon a Spanish colonial house, with high ceilings and interior courtyards. Cartagena’s Tourism Corporation’s Director Zully Salazar explains how “next year the tourism and hospitality offer will increase and they are making all efforts to attract new prestigious international brands.” According to the Tourism Corporation, the new boutique becomes a good precedent for other international fashion designers and retailers.Salvatore Ferragamo’s name in gold, placed on top of the store’s huge wooden doorway can be seen from the emblematic Calle del Estanco street, which usually has no access to motor vehicles, the perfect venue for horse carriages, local pedestrians, tourists, and newlyweds who walk among the shops, and accentuate the historic ambiance of the city. Cartagena has become a favorite destination for weddings and honeymoons according to a recent study presented by Hotel Price Index. It is also a favorite for those who want to buy garments for receptions and other social events.
Outside the Ferragamo boutique, the historic downtown might take a passerby back to colonial times, but inside, just as in other hotels and commercial venues; the ambiance changes into intimacy and modernity. The elegant shop is now ready to host clients interested in purchasing any variety of accessories, which may include handbags, leather jackets, shoes, shirts, polo shirts, blazers and scarves.
According to local journalist Carolina de Pombo, “downtown is a modern and historic mixed fashion mecca, which can’t be missed in a city that hosts more than a million tourists a year who come from all around the world”.
The collections presented at the opening exhibit where selected from the Milan Spring/Summer 2014 Fashion Show, a good choice for Cartagena’s strong Caribbean weather. At the store, one may find all the necessary accessories, from a basic designer piece to the exclusive Sofia handbag, available in beige, cayenne and ice blue.
With this new boutique, Ferragamo opts to be another fantastic entry in Cartagena’s fashion roster, which now also hosts other national designers, including Silvia Tcherassi, Kethy Tinoco, Vélez, Mario Hernández or international brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Versace, Benetton and Desigual. ■