Johanna Ortiz Loves Lee Radziwill, Loathes Tight Dresses

Johanna Ortiz

From left: Model Adriana Arboleda and designer Johanna Ortiz.

After studying fashion design in the US (at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and Parsons School of Design), Johanna Ortiz set up shop in her native Colombia, where she shows her feminine, flirty designs at Colombiamoda in Medellin and Circulo de la Moda in Bogota—two of the country’s biggest fashion weeks. Now, Ortiz is taking her eponymous label global (a trunk show with Moda Operandi launches today). Here, she reveals her favorite places to shop, the key to an effortless day-to-night look, and more.

Define your style in three words:
Feminine, effortlessly elegant.

Daily uniform:
Transformed men’s shirts, wrap skirts, and heels.

Greatest hits:
The Tulum Top from my last collection, and tunics made from one-of-a-kind vintage fabrics.

Preferred footwear:
I always prefer heels to flats. Gianvito Rossi makes some of my favorites.

Finishing touches:
Rings by Colombian jewelry designer Mallarino, earrings by Paula Mendoza, and Olympia Le-Tan clutches.

Nighttime look:
I usually dress up one of my daytime looks, like a button-down shirt and printed skirt, by adding a clutch and heels.

Best recent discovery:
Wasabi Pistachios from La Pistacherie in Paris (67 Rue Rambuteau, 75004 Paris).

Favorite stores:
ABC Home & Carpet and FiveStory in New York; Casa Chiqui in Cartagena, Colombia.

Style pet peeve:
Revealing too much skin. Simply showing off a woman’s neck and shoulders is sexy but effortless, while a short tight dress can often make the girl look uncomfortable.

Style icons:
Lee Radziwill and Dovima.

Last purchase:
A coffee table book on Lluis Domenech i Montaner, the incredible Catalan architect behind some of Barcelona’s most amazing buildings.

Lusting after:
A painting by Colombian artist Oscar Murillo.

Favorite haunts:
The Madison Avenue Sant Ambroeus in New York; La Vitrola in Cartagena, Colombia; Café de Flore in Paris; Astrid y Gaston in Lima, Peru.

What's always in your bag:
L’Occitane hand cream, natural tears, Caudalie lip conditioner, and my iPhone.