Marni's "La Vereda": The Italian Colombia
Italian house of fashion Marni has been exploring the world of Colombian craftsmanship for years by means of colorful outdoor furniture installations in the brand’s showroom during Milan Design Week.
This year was no different, with “La Vereda”, Marni’s most recent interpretation of Colombia, and what the brand describes as, “an evocative voyage into the colors and sensations of Colombia and a discovery of artisan traditions.”
In Colombia, a vereda is a small settlement that develops around one or two streets or a cluster of houses, giving rise to small rural communities.
Marni has appropriated the Colombian vereda and reimagined it as Marni La Vereda, a bright, cheery festival of color and folklore that showcases the brand’s new collection, featuring home accessories and hand-woven furniture made in Colombia.
Marni collaborated with communities from different areas of Colombia to create the series of items for their accessories line. These include papier-mâché and beaded hens which are handmade by a community of women from Villanueva in the Casanare department; woven willow baskets made in the traditional technique from the city of Ibagué in the Tolima region, now with an added element of colored plastic; organic bags made with agave fibers by the women of Curití in Santander (then branded with the Marni logo); and finally, colorful hammocks in loom-woven cotton, a signature of the communities in Colombia’s Atlantic coast.
What Marni has done with largely popular and commonplace Colombian objects that usually go unnoticed at home is elevate them to the status of high fashion objects by branding them with a world-renowned European brand, a decision that has generated indignation among many Colombians who believe it is a misappropriation of their culture.
This invites the question of why these objects are not appreciated more in their place of origin, and what can be done to convert these quintessentially Colombian items from popular and unremarkable to highly valued objects that suggest style and luxury.
For now, Colombians can take solace in the fact that Italians and international visitors alike were able to appreciate a world where the humblest form of Colombian culture, albeit reinterpreted, became synonymous with sophistication and joy, a development that has yet to take place in the region. marni.com