Intimate wear, sportswear, casualwear, beachwear, and pajamas are the main garments sought out by the nearly 205 foreign companies—from 33 countries across three continents—invited by ProColombia to participate in the Colombiamoda online business event. The fashion week, organized by Inexmoda, is expected to boast 170 Colombian vendors who will showcase their garments to international businesses from July 27th to 31st.
The largest delegations of buyers hail from the Caribbean, Ecuador, and the United States. Singapore and India will also be present, and Norway will participate for the first time.
Among the buyers will be TagYourShoes, a Norwegian footwear company with an online sales platform. They are interested in meeting Colombian suppliers of complete footwear packages. Simone Irani, a designer specializing in women’s beachwear and dresses, will participate from Singapore. She will be looking for a complete package of resort wear and light pieces suitable for Southeast Asia’s tropical climate.
RusFashionConsulting, one of Russia’s leaders in the wholesale underwear market, will also be present. The company mainly buys leggings, hosiery, and lingerie, as well as swimsuits and accessories.
ProColombia President Flavia Santoro stated, “This event demonstrates that, even under the current circumstances, Colombia continues to be a trusted and quality apparel supplier worldwide. Nearly 70% of international companies present will be participating for the first time, reinforcing the idea that the event’s online format enables more buyers to attend and to access Colombian products. We also want to take advantage of e-commerce’s current momentum. Among the international buyers, 12 marketplaces—hailing from Brazil, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and Norway—will be represented."
Additionally, participant Miguel Ángel Zerene, owner and general manager of Tiger Group—a Chilean company that distributes Colombian swimwear to Falabella, Paris, and Ripley in Chile—stated, “Colombia is definitely a regional role model when it comes to fashion. I have participated in Colombiamoda several times and bought swimwear; this year, I am looking for more jeans and shoes suppliers for our own brands. I am also interested in seeing the work of emerging designers.”
Dani Greenwood, an American buyer who works as sourcing assistant for Brist MFG, affirmed, “We have had great experiences with Colombian suppliers due to the price, quality, shipping times, and the FTA tariff advantages between the countries. Also, with the trade issues between the United States and China, we want to have more suppliers nearby, and Colombia offers interesting fashion options."
Large companies such as Target—an American department store that has more than 1,800 stores across the United States—will also attend business meetings. Other companies that will participate include Jockey, an underwear, casual wear, and sportswear brand with more than 90 stores in the United States, and Grupo Ramos, the Dominican Republic’s leading department store, with 75 stores located throughout the country.
ProColombia also promotes digital transformation for apparel exporters, which is why the agency invited 26 companies that are part of Industry 4.0 chain to participate in Colombiamoda. These companies provide digitization solutions and through the event will offer their services to international buyers and national companies in the fashion industry.
The main services that these Industry 4.0 companies will offer are: e-commerce website development, digital marketing, specialized software for the apparel sector, mobile apps, and digital transformation services. This cross-selling activity has been carried out since 2017; this year, given the situation with COVID-19, it has become an even more relevant tool that contributes to Colombia’s economic reactivation.
Between January and May of this year, Colombia's fashion exports reached US $242.5 million, according to National Department of Statistics (DANE, as per the Spanish acronym) figures analyzed by ProColombia. The main buyers hail from the United States, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Costa Rica. In fact, in the first five months of 2020, Colombian apparel sales reached 82 destinations (each with sales of more than US$10,000) while 833 companies made international sales in this same period (each with sales of more than US$10,000). The Colombian departments of Antioquia, Bogotá, Valle del Cauca, and Atlántico led the way in fashion exports.