Secrets of a Fashion Daredevil – #2 Pan American Designers Shape Up the Status Quo

Magazine sales have fallen almost as fast as newspapers and just slightly slower than music CDs.  Outside of the occasional purchase at the airport gift shop I haven’t bought a magazine in years.  Like most of you I get my garb from the global free for all online.  Old and dying are the days when mainstream brands and designers can, for a fist full of dollars, dress a celebrity, have their publicist call a photographer(s) and see them semi-serendipitously arrive at their favorite restaurant or club.  Of course, four weeks later their pictures are splashed all over the pages of Vogue, Cosmo and People, where you are told in a story how chic they are and oh, by the way, their new movie starts this week.  Its was all part of a massive marketing machine controlled by conglomerates for herding the fateful masses.  I have some real news for you, destiny is changing. 

Much in the same way our consumption for music and newspapers changed so is our taste for clothing.  No longer does everyone wear Levi 501s; today there are literally thousands of styles and brands of jeans, each giving us our own identity.  No longer are there only a handful of designers spitting out their rendition of what we ought to be wearing; there is real competition for your attention as the masses begin to become aware of the changes around them.  The world is really shrinking and ideas are being shared around the globe at a rapid pace.  At least for now control belongs to the many.

It is a fact that other countries are growing much faster than the United States. Middle classes are being born around the world, in a large part to the free flow of information and education online.  Ideas are traded at light speed and incremental innovation spans the globe like a mutating virus (in fact, by tomorrow someone will copy this article post it to their blog and sell links and advertising, how about that for incremental innovation. BTW, if you are such a person please give credit where credit is due).  Bold independent designers are being born not from the mass market but from the attention they receive from their niche factions.  Sometimes these independents grow into a market for the masses as the best ideas rise to the top. 

More often now these creators of fashion are from outside the United States.  Inspiration is cycling and pop culture is taking on global tastes.  Once only a factory for the first world, South America a vibrant fabricator of textiles and clothing, is transforming into a fashion innovator. Latin American designers like Daniella Helayel (Sao Paulo), Marcia Ganem (technically Central American) and Martha Medeiros have been lamented by Vogue Magazine and worn by such celebrities as Alica Keys, Janet Jackson, Keira Knightley, Scarlett Johansson and Eva Mendez.  The look is definitely more European and less flamboyant than in the past, a sign of growing sophistication from the region. These designers tend to be personal favorites and not force fed to the masses, at least not yet.  Less known but up and coming designers like Jackeline Aguero and Olga Maria Lotero (Cali, Co.) have introduced designs and are getting attention from the fashion forward.  Many of these new creations are about shape and texture as much as color and style.  You can view see some of these designers and their collections online at  Especially exciting are the new jean styles from the region.  Growing in sophistication these “jeans levanta cola” give women the opportunity to have a style of their own and are tailored to lift and shape the figure.

We have seen the acceleration of change from magazines to music to almost every aspect of our lives.  If you are to stand out you must be innovative and must take chances, like the Fashion Daredevil, you will need  to look globally.  Exciting new designs are increasingly rising to the top of the fashion world from Pan America.  I encourage you to step outside your  own backyard for experience worth having and try some of these new tastes, you may find them delicious. 

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