Johanna Ortiz opens Colombiamoda no. 30 with 'Caprice'

Image courtesy of Inexmoda.

Image courtesy of Inexmoda.


Lining the halls of one of Medellin’s oldest government buildings— now the Palacio de la Cultura, hundreds of well-heeled Colombians waited in balmy patience for fashion designer Johanna Ortiz’s much-anticipated fashion show opening the 30th edition of Colombia Fashion Week. Coming five years after Johanna’s last Colombiamoda appearance, the show heralded a return of the fashion giant to the runways of her home country’s biggest fashion event after a five-year hiatus.


Caprice Resort 2020

by Johanna Ortiz

But Ortiz’s hiatus was due to anything but inactivity; no, the Cali-based designer has been hard at work positioning her brand in 23 countries and transforming her model to sell 90% of her production through online platforms like Moda Operandi, Bergdorf Goodman and Net-a-Porter. Today, Johanna is one of the most important designers in Latin America, producing 100% of her products in Colombia. An example of her transformation: the Johanna Ortiz brand went from producing 3,000 garments in 2014 to 28,000 garments in 2019, generating around 313 jobs in Cali, Colombia. 

Her new collection, ‘Resort Caprice’ was created for the adventurous señorita, a young lady with a jovial spirit; she is in constant movement, and loves all things tropical. Beginning with a song from another era— ‘Siboney’ by Connie Francis— the runway was set with dried autumn leaves flanked by the monumental columns of the Palacio de la Cultura, complete with the humid air of a warm Medellin summer night. For the collection’s prints, Ortiz was inspired by Cali’s “flor del borrachero” or angel’s trumpet, a large, fragrant flower that is as beautiful as it is toxic, a metaphor for the wild woman represented in this collection.

Image courtesy of Inexmoda.

Image courtesy of Inexmoda.

Ortiz’s ‘Caprice’ woman is festive, feminine and elegant, but with a rebellious streak that allows her greater freedom to dance on tables and go out on the town without wearing any makeup. Ortiz dresses her in her signature ruffles—sometimes pleated, and florals, with pops of color, plus asymmetrical, oversized bows that mark the waistline, luxurious trains, and cowgirl-inspired double buckle belts. Plus, this collection was all about sleeves: large and voluminous, with 80s vibes to add plenty of pomp and circumstance to the Johanna Ortiz woman.

In Ortiz’s own words, “It is not just a resort collection. It is a transition collection, between one season and another. These are intermediate collections that for buyers are more important than the Spring-Summer and Fall-Winter collections. It is the most important moment of the business, because that is when buyers are given a bigger budget.” 

And so ‘Caprice’ by Johanna Ortiz, is a collection of youthful party dresses for the adventurous miss, meant for tropical, endless summer nights; a series of looks that combines leisurely resort wear with timeless, wearable ensembles.