Besides being exceedingly stylish and impressively accomplished, many of my favorite women in fashion have another thing in common: They're Latin American. Trusting their impeccable taste, I sought advice on the best summer trends from a handful of chic women, some of whom I've been lucky enough to meet and others I've admired from afar.
I polled seven of the most influential voices in Latin American fashion, including Karla Martinez de Salas, the editor in chief of Vogue México and Latin America, and Silvia Tcherassi, a veteran Colombian designer. Not only do all of these women have a stellar personal style, but they're also indispensable ambassadors of Latin talent. Araceli Graham, for instance, runs the online retailer Cooperativa Shop, which only stocks brands from the region. I've also tapped Cloclo Echavarria of Creo Consulting, a platform and consultancy company for Latin American brands; Kelly Talamas, a whip-smart creative director and consultant; and Nane Miller, a Costa Rican blogger.
Last but certainly not least, I included Estefania Lacayo, co-founder of the Latin American Fashion Summit, who succinctly explained her motivation for co-founding the annual conference. "A few years ago, we began noticing that despite the adversity and challenges particular to the region, there was increasing interest in the area: our culture, our music, our language, and of course, our emerging fashion scene," Lacayo explained on Instagram. "This only confirmed what we already knew: Latin America has unparalleled potential." Agreeing wholeheartedly, I'm excited about all of these ladies' summer trend selections below. Scroll down to shop their picks.
"I can't get enough of tie-dye prints," Martinez de Salas told Who What Wear. "I bought a T-shirt by My Palma that I wear with everything, as well as a Prada printed skirt that's a bit more dressed up!"
"I love floral prints pretty much all year around! For summer I love florals on dresses and skirts," Martinez de Salas told me. Below, she chose a beautiful top from Colombian brand Johanna Ortiz as well as a pretty mixed-print dress by Paco Rabanne.
"I am loving the mismatched earring trend," Echavarria told Who What Wear. "My favorites are by Brooklyn-based designer Beck Jewels. Her summer collection has a huge selection to choose from, starting with glass bead shoulder dusters to her more classic best-selling styles like the Arcila and Agra hoops."
Printed Swimsuits and Dresses
"This summer, I will be wearing lots of printed swimsuits and flowy dresses," Echavarria told me. "In particular, I will be wearing my favorite new resort wear line Agua by Agua Bendita. The dresses can be worn out to dinner or dressed up for special occasions like weddings, especially the pieces that are embroidered. The swimsuits too can also be dressed up with a pareo or linen pants to wear out for lunch."
"Another trend I will be wearing this summer, which I think is timeless, is woven bags," Echavarria said. "This year, I'm stepping it up a notch and investing in a Magnetic Midnight handwoven gold-dipped bag, which is more of an art piece. It's perfect for special occasions in summer."
"This season, I'm really into polished effortlessness and vacation pieces that are easy to pack and transition well from day to night," Talamas told Who What Wear. "Summer whites are the best for this, and I'm finding myself drawn to feminine dresses such as this Fiore dress by Dôen."
"Swim is entering a new era," Graham said. "Gone are the days of one-dimensional swim—these pieces are to be worn effortlessly not only as swimwear but also as a part of my ready-to-wear wardrobe. One of my plans for this summer is to sail around Croatia on a gulet cruise, so these pieces from Carolina K and Juan de Dios are perfect to throw some flowy pants, denim shorts, or a skirt over them to go down for exploring the ports or towns."
"From the Golden Globes to the Met Gala, bows were everywhere, and summer is the perfect season to enjoy this feminine and delicate detail," Tcherassi told me. "If you add billowing sleeves, the effect is major. I love the Honey Blouse, a season essential that will be the most versatile piece in your wardrobe for sure."
"My go-to day outfit is made up of baggy pants or shorts and a T-shirt with flats or sneakers," Miller told me. "Tie-dyed shirts are such a fun alternative to my simple white shirts. I like to wear them in men's sizing to get that oversize, cool look."
"I'm so excited about the feather trend this summer!" Miller said. "I love to pair a silk top or pants that have feathers on the bottom with Converse for the day and a classic mule for a night out. Wearing a piece with feathers is such an easy and fresh way to spice up an outfit."
"Statement earrings are on trend now, but they have always been favorite accessories of mine," Lacayo told me. "I love Bibi Marini's beaded earrings. They are all you need to spruce up an outfit or even a chic beach look."
"I am a big fan of Verdi, a family-run business in Colombia that came out with a gorgeous take on the traditional Colombian mochila."