Kika Vargas: Big in Bogota
Three Colombian designers are gaining buzz in the U.S.
Bogotá-born Kika Vargas credits her love of bold hues to the two years she spent working at Missoni in Italy. “In fashion school, they teach you to use maybe 15 colors in a collection,” says the 29-year-old, who attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Istituto Marangoni in Milan. “At Missoni, you can use 350.” In 2010, Vargas moved back to Colombia to start her own label—something she’d dreamed of since she was a 5-year-old watching her mother dress up. Her fall 2013 collection mixes ’20s-inspired silhouettes with color-drenched prints informed by the painted walls in the old colonial center of Cartagena, Colombia, which have chipped and peeled in the Caribbean heat. Reproduced on silk, a fabric Vargas favors for the way it moves over the body, the patterns look like they are rippling on the wearer even when she is standing still.