If you’ve ever traveled to Bogotá, you’ve probably experienced some of its famous rites of passage: ascending Montserrat in a cable car amid cinematic fog to admire Colombia’s bustling capital from 3,000 meters above sea level or marvel at the thousands of shimmering gold artifacts in the Museo del Oro. You’ve probably ordered coffee from a hip café in a country that’s been caffeinating the world for two centuries and tasted some tangy and tangy exotic fruits – there are so many grown here that you could try a new one every day of the year. and still not getting your fill.
But in recent years, Bogotá, an energetic and ever-changing city, has also claimed its position in the design world, consciously leading a slow fashion movement. It is a natural extension of Bogotanos artistic identity and complements the country’s current commitment to preserving folk crafts.
Behind seemingly residential doors are high fashion showrooms, makers markets and lingerie boutiques – you just need to know where to find them.
Ahead, discover this elegant side of Bogotá.
Where to stay:
Think of the Chapinero Alto neighborhood as Bogotá’s new capital of cool, a cutting-edge creative neighborhood where tourists mingle with locals.
At the heart of the neighborhood and behind an arched azure doorway stands the arty HAB Hotel. Head to the bar to check in and have a bright, freshly squeezed lulo juice. This 58-room boutique gem by design-savvy husband-wife team Nicolás Vergara and Ana Maria Calle was built by combining three bygone spaces: a former hotel, a vacant lot, and a house for nuns.
Today it’s a maze of jewel-toned surprises, from a lush but dimly lit garden with fronds to a small courtyard; halls adorned with works of art with geometric pieces; and the HAB Cafe patio with its woven chairs and fairy lights.
Unlike sunny Cartagena, Bogotá is more moody. HAB’s ‘subdued tropic’ design aesthetic reflects this, with some English influence in the architectural mix as well. “We wanted to mix this understated vibe with a more vibrant tropical design,” says Vergara.
The hotel is also a kind of micro-museum with a spotlight on artists from Bogotá: Venus White designed the warm glowing orb pendants suspended at different heights in an entrance stairwell and the geometric pieces and Pablo Tamayo’s portraits combine technology and laborious traditional art techniques.
Or buy :
Art-influenced fashion rules in Bogotá, which could easily be considered the fashion capital of Latin America.
For traditional Colombian accessories, explore maker’s markets, like Artesanias de Colombia, where you’ll find hand-woven bucket bags; filigree jewelry made from fine, twisted metals; and vueltiao hats constructed with an arrow cane. (For Disney fans, there were plenty of items in “Encanto.”)
At the two-story Kuna Mya, shoppers will discover Colombian groceries and cocktails on the first floor and alpaca ruanas, beaded jewelry and other souvenirs in the upstairs boutique.
Bogotá is also full of contemporary shops. Jewelry designer Paula Mendoza has a showroom in Bogotá with her sculptural earrings and bold gold earrings on display. Mendoza’s long list of celebrity fans includes Kylie Jenner, Zendaya, Venus Williams, Tracee Ellis Ross, Beyonce and Alicia Keys, to name a few. She recently collaborated with J. Crew on a line.
In the same building, Suki Cohen sells her high-end lingerie and swimwear, including swimsuits with unexpected necklines, laser cutouts and high-end soft-touch fabrics. In the United States, one of Bogotá’s most famous designers, Esteban Cortázar, recently launched an exclusive collection with Rent the Runway.
In the Quinta Camacho neighborhood, A New Cross’ slow fashion collection is minimalist and monochromatic with timeless, genderless pieces in fluid silhouettes. The Bogotá brand, which was awarded as the best guest country designer at the Fashion Trust Arabia awards, collaborates with artisans from all over Colombia.
For homeware enthusiasts, a visit to Verdi’s textile workshop shows artisans at work, orchestrating handmade looms, weaving fibers and knitting metal in a beautifully chaotic process. The artisanal brand creates curtains in plantain fiber and copper wire, handbags in silver metal and rugs in fique and metal.
Opposite the studio, in an unassuming building in an industrial district, is Verdi’s showroom with the photographic tree of life made with a copper trunk and flowing fique threads.
Where to eat:
Set aside a morning to meander your way through Paloquemao Market, where you’ll find local fruit and vegetables, rows of florists, and plenty of vendors selling freshly squeezed juices, pastries, stews, and more.
At Hab Hotel, Hab Cafe is a gathering place for locals and tourists alike who come for Colombian-inspired dishes and ingredients, many of which are organic and grown on their own farm in Guasca, Cundinamarca. The menu rotates, but includes dishes like empanadas stuffed with shrimp, lamb, pork belly or cauliflower and cheese, as well as fresh fish, lamb dishes and a vegan burger made with beet.
To discover Colombian gastronomy, Leo offers a 13-course tasting menu lasting almost 3 hours in a contemporary museum-like space. Synchronize your tasting with a menu of fermented drinks influenced by the different landscapes and regions of Colombia. Chef Leonor Espinosa was recently named the world’s best female chef and recognized for her “Ciclo-Bioma” concept based on finding innovative ways to incorporate little-used species into a new type of modern Colombian cuisine.
Enjoy a celebratory meal at Calle Dragones, an underground restaurant with Moulin Rouge-like shows and Cuban dishes with an Asian twist.