Concept Stores Part 5: Cartagena, Colombia
LEE ESTE POST EN ESPAÑOL.
Our series on concept stores selling Latin American goods continues today in Cartagena, Colombia, the vacation capital and coastal gem of the country. Colombians are very protective of Cartagena and its magnificent Old Town, which is lined with pastel-toned colonial architecture, dining spots serving local treats, and designer boutique hotels. It’s also a UNESCO World heritage Site, and in December, the city comes alive with tourists from all over the world.
While they say the best time to visit is usually Christmas or New Year’s, Cartagena enjoys relatively cooler weather until about April, which means there’s still time to make it your next travel destination. For those of you that are wondering what the shopping scene for local goods is all about, here are our top three spots for discovering Colombian design in all its splendor.
Agua de Leon
We covered Agua de Leon soon after its opening in 2017, and the spot still holds the same magic as its first days. Stepping into Agua de Leon is like stepping into a heavenly corner of the Walled City: impeccably dressed mannequins stand tall in tropical Colombian fashions and glints of bronze are set upon a backdrop of traditional colonial arches and brick masonry. On your way out, help yourself to a mouth-watering rum cocktail at the La Hechicera bar at the far end of the store.
Highlights: You’ll find an assortment of local designers ranging from Renata Lozano and Ballen Pellettiere to Eugenia Fernandez and Mercedes Salazar, with each designer entitled their own exhibition space to tell their story.
Address: Centro, Plaza de Santo Domingo No. 3-16, Cartagena, Colombia
Phone Number: (+57) 311 337 1714 / 312 667 9087
Follow them on Instagram: instagram.com/aguadeleon
Shop Agua de leon Products
The concept store St. Dom has been a staple for years in Cartagena ever since founders Maya Memovic and Alex Srour, also owners of resort clothing brand Azulu, decided to feature local designers versus imported brands in their newly opened shop. They never looked back, and today St. Dom has grown into an institution for Colombian fashion, opening a Bogotá location this past year. The extensive spot features a dreamy selection of evening wear, resort wear, accessories, jewelry, and home goods, as well as a shop-in-shop designated for Johanna Ortiz’s elegant ensembles.
Highlights: Here you’ll find every Colombian fashion designer on the map, but make sure to poke around Azulu’s breezy beachwear collection and the assortment of homewares in the back, plus a recent collaboration with Brazilian designers like Waiwai Rio, Adriana Degreas, and Isolda. stdom.co
Address: Centro, Calle de Santo Domingo No. 33-70, Cartagena, Colombia
Phone Number: (+57 5) 664 0197; (+57) 317 432 3485
Follow them on Facebook/Instagram: instagram.com/stdomcartagena; facebook.com/ST-DOM
Shop St. Dom products
Casa Chiqui boutique is the souk-like emporium overseen by the fashionable Chiqui de Echavarría, pronounced by W Magazine as the “queen of Cartagena” and a “legendary Colombian hostess” by Moda Operandi. Here you’ll find an assortment of products from all over the world, including jewelry, fashion and accessories handmade by artisans from indigenous communities across the world, from South America, to Morocco, to Bali and beyond.
Highlights: Inside the extensive emporium, look for Chiqui de Echavarría’s festive earring and accessories collection produced by local Colombian artisans. casachiqui.com
Addresses: Centro, Calle de La Universidad No. 36-127, Cartagena, Bolívar
Phone Number: +57 5 6685429; +57 317 437 6864
Follow them on Facebook/Instagram: facebook.com/Casachiqui; instagram.com/casachiqui