Latin American Fashion Awards Host Inaugural Celebration in the Dominican Republic

This past weekend the Latinx community cemented its foot in the fashion world with the first-ever Latin American Fashion Awards in the Dominican Republic on Saturday.

The awards recognized regional icons in 13 categories, with more than 25 countries participating. The event’s mission is to honor the region’s heritage, celebrate diversity and inclusion, and bolster the future of the most outstanding Latin American talents, helping to shape the fashion industry.

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The event took place as multiple Latino designers have spoken up about building brands differently, to be more inclusive. At the WWD Apparel & Retail CEO Summit in October, Willy Chavarria said he’s been building his brand to “empower people.”

“I’ve brought in people to work with me who have seen oppression or are struggling. They’re queer, they’re brown, they’re chubby — it’s a space to make people feel better about themselves and to feel as empowered and beautiful as we really are,” Chavarria said.

And Raul Lopez of Luar said he “wanted to create a space where social class didn’t exist … I wasn’t accepted in my neighborhood. I was a gay boy wanting to dress up, and I didn’t fit the mold.”

J Balvin
J Balvin

The event was founded by Latin American fashion legends Constanza Etro and Silvia Argüello and hosted by Dominican actress and singer Leslie Grace, with Argentine-Spanish international fashion model Iván de Pineda. The event took place in the iconic Amphitheater of Altos de Chavón in Casa de Campo.

Constanza Etro, Silvia Argüello
Constanza Etro and Silvia Argüello
Leslie Grace
Leslie Grace
Leslie Grace, Iván de Pineda
Leslie Grace and Iván de Pineda
Indya Moore, Haider Ackermann
Indya Moore and Haider Ackermann

The three-day event kicked off on Thursday with a welcome cocktail at Mare Restaurant, located at La Cana Golf & Beach Club and part of Puntacana Resort & Club. On Friday, the Latinx community gathered for an exclusive opening night cocktail and finalists’ showcase for the jury at the historic private villa of Oscar de la Renta at the Puntacana Resort & Club. Fashion industry members, designers and community supporters, such as Grace, Pineda, Valentina Ferrer, Tokischa, Haider Ackermann, Anna Dello Russo, Indya Moore, Kean Etro, Carmen Busquets, Chavarria, Lopez, Stella Jean, Elena Velez, Camila Coutinho, Laura Tobón, Babba Rivera and Marina Testino showed up to celebrate.

The awards ceremony showcased star power from across fashion, with an international jury panel, presided over by Colombian designer Haider Ackermann and comprising Elle USA’s editor in chief and Colombian native Nina Garcia; journalist and fashion icon Anna Dello Russo; stylist and i-D global fashion director Carlos Nazario; supermodel, actor, and activist Indya Moore; Fondazione Sozzani creative director Sara Sozzani Maino; philanthropist, strategic investor and entrepreneur Carmen Busquets; chairman of Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana Carlo Capasa; CEO, Council of Fashion Designers of America Steven Kolb; entrepreneur and creative director Margherita Maccapani Missoni; head of editorial content Vogue Mexico & Latin America Karla Martinez De Salas; among others.

Winners included: Photographer of the Year Camila Falquez, Dominican Republic Local Star Lineisy Montero, Brand of the Year Luar, Accessories Brand of the Year Daniela Villegas, and Designer of the Year Willy Chavarria.

Raul Lopez
Raul Lopez
Willy Chavarria
Willy Chavarria
Constanza Etro, J Balvin, Silvia Arguello
Constanza Etro, J Balvin and Silvia Argüello.

“Everything starts from one person’s dream. Never ever forget about your dream. A dream you dream alone, it’s only a dream. A dream you dream together? It’s reality,” said Ackermann as he presented the award to Chavarria.

“My work is for my family, my friends, it is for you, it is for us. Thanks to the jury, I am very grateful for this,” said Chavarria in his acceptance speech. He was presented with the Menswear Designer of the Year award at the CFDA fashion awards Monday night in New York City.

The evening culminated with Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin, as he was awarded with Latin fashion icon of the year, presented by Constanza Etro and Silvia Argüello. Balvin honored the big win with a halftime show performance singing some of his greatest hits such as “La Canciòn,” “Reggaeton” and “Mi Gente”

The Latin American Fashion Awards Trophy was created by contemporary artist from El Salvador, Studio Lenca, who is currently based at Tracey Emin’s TKE Studios in London.

The star-studded evening culminated at SBG Casa de Campo, where guests enjoyed cocktails and danced the night away, Latin style.

For the full list of 2024 Latin American Fashion Awards nominees, and winners (in bold), see below.

Latin Fashion Icon of the Year

J Balvin

Designer of the Year

Willy Chavarria – Mexico
Johanna Ortiz – Colombia
Kate y Laura Mulleavy – Mexico
Raul Lopez – Dominican Republic
Stella Jean – Haiti

Brand of the Year

Raul Lopez – Dominican Republic
Agua by Agua Bendita – Colombia
Botter – Curaçao / Dominican Republic
Farm Rio – Brazil
Johanna Ortiz – Colombia
Nous Etudions – Argentina

Emerging Designer/Brand of the Year

Karoline Vitto – Brazil

Àcheval – Argentina

Banzo – Mexico

Diotima – Jamaica

Elena Velez – Puerto Rico

Lucas Leão – Brazil

Artisanal Project of the Year

Verdi – Colombia
A New Cross – Colombia
Ayni – Peru
Carla Fernández – Mexico
Joao Maraschin – Brazil
Mozhdeh Matin – Peru

Responsible Project of the Year

Desserto – Mexico
Ecocitex – Chile

Chain – Argentina
Ponto Firme – Brazil
Vístete de Sueños – Venezuela

Accessories Brand of the Year
Daniela Villegas – Mexico

Fernando Jorge – Brazil
Paula Mendoza – Colombia
Sordo – Venezuela

Fashion Film of the Year

“Divina” by Ode – Brazil
“Regreso a Venezuela” by Maco Diaz – Venezuela
“Rito” by Mar+Vin – Brazil
“The Desert Spirit” by Mauricio Sierra – Mexico

Model of the Year

Hiandra Martínez – Dominican Republic
América González – Venezuela
Devyn García – Cuba
Lineisy Montero – Dominican Republic
Valentine – Mexico

Fashion Photographer of the Year

Camila Falquéz – Colombia & Mexico
Mar + Vin – Brazil
Sofía & Mauro – Argentina

Emerging Fashion Photographer of the Year

Elliot & Erick – Cuba
Gleeson Paulino – Brazil
Pedro Napolinario – Brazil
Santiago Sierra – Mexico

Fashion Artist of the Year

Marcelo Gutierrez – Colombia
Chino Castilla – Mexico
Stephania Yepes – Colombia

Dominican Republic Local Star

Lineisy Montero – Model
Giannina Azar – Designer
Indo Mita – Art Gallery
Le Blanc Studios – Brand
Tiempo de Zafra – Responsible Project
Yoanny García – Marca de Accesorios

Fashion Influencer of the Year

Zaya Guaraní – Brazil
Babba Rivera – Chile
Camila Coutinho – Brazil
Laura Tobón – Colombia
Marina Testino – Peru
Zucki – Mexico

J Balvin
J Balvin
Daniela Villegas, Carmen Busquets, Haider Ackermann, Constanza Etro, Willy Chavarria, Raul Lopez, Silvia Arguello, Giovanni Bianco
Daniela Villegas, Carmen Busquets, Haider Ackermann, Constanza Etro, Willy Chavarria, Raul Lopez, Silvia Argüello and Giovanni Bianco.
Dascha Polanco
Dascha Polanco
Willy Chavarria
Willy Chavarria
Zaya Ribeiro
Zaya Ribeiro
Leslie Grace
Leslie Grace
Erick Jimenez, Erick Jimenez
Elliot and Erick Jimenez

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