Haider Ackermann Celebrates His Colombian Roots

The designer returns to his birthplace to kick off fashion week.


Haider Ackermann traveled to Medellin, Colombia where he kicked off Colombiamoda, the country’s annual fashion week. For the designer, who is based in Paris, it was a homecoming of sorts; Ackermann, was born in Colombia, but adopted by French parents when he was 9 months old and lived in Ethiopia, Chad, and Algeria before his family settled in the Netherlands. Although he only returned to Colombia for the first time last year, he quickly fell in love with the country. “I was struck by the enthusiasm,” said Ackermann, “the optimism, the fighting, the strength of the people for a better life, always with a big smile.”

After receiving a key to the city of Medellin from the Mayor, Aníbal Gaviria, he rushed to put the finishing touches on his runway show, which kicked off the fashion schedule. To make the magic happen, Ackermann flew in 38 runway looks from Paris and a team of 10 international models to join the Colombian models he hand-picked only days before. “Every collection is a continuation, so it feels like you’re writing a book,” said the designer, who carefully curated the selection of looks from both recent and past collections. “And hopefully the book is endless.”

Post-show, Ackermann joined friends like Waris Aluwahlia, Elizabeth von Guttman, and designer Amelia Toro for a celebratory dinner. Seated at his right was Colombia’s First Lady, María Clemencia de Santos, who happens to be a fan of his work. “I was so very honored to be invited,” said Ackermann, who kept the festivities going late with an after-party at local salsa bar El Suave in the heart of Medellin.

Photo: courtesy of Colombiamoda