H&M always seems to surprise and delight with their designer collaborations – from their first one with Karl Lagerfeld in 2004, right up until this year when we saw the high street retailer team up with couturier Giambattista Valli. H&M has now, for the first time, collaborated with a Latin American designer after partnering with a plethora of international brands from fashion capitals including, Paris, London, New York and Milan – and now, Colombia.
We’ve been seeing Johanna Ortiz’s feminine, yet statement, silhouettes paired with bold prints on red carpets and in the pages of fashion magazines – and now the high end designer is hitting the high street with a capsule collection of 4 dresses that convey her signature design aesthetic, through the medium of retail giant, H&M. The 4 dress capsule is part of the collab’s pre-drop, which will go online and in store on December 3rd2019, and will be followed by a full collection in March 2020.
The Colombian designer said in a statement about the exciting high street partnership, “Reaching out to the world while still living in Colombia, in Cali, a small city—you can go global and still be in your hometown. I’ve never lived for a long time in any fashion capital, but now I’ve been reached by H&M. They came down here to visit me to start working together. It feels like I’m doing things right.”
Johanna Ortiz only emerged as an international designer all but a few years ago, with her first global online stockist being the luxury fashion platform, Moda Operandi, now followed by Matches Fashion and Net A Porter.
Having been perfecting her art and developing her brand since 2003, Ortiz also pays her success forward as she runs a local training program at her own factory at which she offers free embroidery and sewing courses, nurturing her potential employees to be financially independent, “We have plenty of talented hands, but they haven’t been exposed to learning,” she says.
The soon to be released four dress collection at H&M features a wrap dress, a tunic, a mini dress, and a floor length gown in her signature floral prints from her archive. Not only do her prints make her pieces recognizable, but also her trademark frills and ruffles, which subtly hint at her Latin heritage. March 2020’s full collection will also include swimwear and summery separates, “All of us Colombians and Latin Americans will be so proud of getting around the world a little bit our Latin flair. It’s positive communication around the world about this part of the world,” says Ortiz.