The Return of Esteban Cortazar

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA: A year after the Lindsey Lohan drama, proud Esteban Cortazar, who would rather walk out than compromise his standards, is doing just fine. On Monday night, his show--a collaboration with local retailer Exito--kicked off Colombian Fashion Week 2010 held in Medellin, a couple of hours away from his natal Bogota. In the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld for H&M, or Christopher Kane for Topshop, Cortazar’s democratized fashion presented a range of items from $12 to $200. And the show certainly didn’t give the price away.
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MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA: A year after the Lindsey Lohan drama, proud Esteban Cortazar, who would rather walk out than compromise his standards, is doing just fine. On Monday night, his show--a collaboration with local retailer Exito--kicked off Colombian Fashion Week 2010 held in Medellin, a couple of hours away from his natal Bogota. In the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld for H&M, or Christopher Kane for Topshop, Cortazar’s democratized fashion presented a range of items from $12 to $200. And the show certainly didn’t give the price away.
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MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA: A year after the Lindsey Lohan drama, proud Esteban Cortazar, who would rather walk out than compromise his standards, is doing just fine.

On Monday night, his show--a collaboration with local retailer Exito--kicked off Colombian Fashion Week 2010 held in Medellin, a couple of hours away from his natal Bogota.

In the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld for H&M, or Christopher Kane for Topshop, Cortazar’s democratized fashion presented a range of items from $12 to $200.

And the show certainly didn’t give the price away.

Dark, elongated silhouettes, with Cortazar’s signature knits and knots, along with rock n’ roll leggings, bold touches of color, audacious layering, and elegant booty-fication. In other words, the challenge that Esteban picked wasn’t just to import French chic to Colombia. Rather, he wanted to get women from Paris and Bogota talking. His designs brought a scruffy je-ne-sais quoi to the country, while giving Charlotte Gainsbourg lookalikes a lesson on how to bling.

“My aim wasn’t to work in high-end in Colombia, because that represents a tiny segment of the population that can afford to shop abroad. I wanted to bring international fashion here, to everyone,” he told Fashionista, “The challenge was to propose--not dictate--references from Paris and New York, but fit for Colombian women.” This was reflected by the models too: half Ford models, shipped from New York, the other half local girls.

It is a matter of learning, added art director Jaime Rubiano, who styled the show. “The items are in fact very simple: racks of jerseys and simple tops, which are very open to styling--the show was a way of teaching local women about layering, mixing and matching,” adding that, “the result is a beautiful merge between disheveled and tropical.”

The collection hit the shops yesterday, involving--like Lagerfeld or Comme des Garcons’ collaborations--enraged female fights. What better proof of success?

Thankfully Cortazar’s got two more coming--but isn’t it time sell them online? **All photos by Alice Pfeiffer.