Adriana Santacruz has a real and deep connection with native Colombians and the undeniable grace to add her spirituality to her gorgeous prêt-à-porter collections. A mix of textures with an explosion of colors which come together perfectly. Her fantastic work has positioned her as one of Colombia’s top designers, surprising the international public season after season. Her secret? Passion:
“Mine is doubtless a definite style. The year 1999 is a period of meeting between student AdrianaSantacruz and artisan women descendants of “Los Pastos”, one of the most outstanding cultures of Pre-Columbian Colombia. A project was initiated whose objective was to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and ancestral popular knowledge, where artisan techniques were merged with clear design concepts. This fusion produced a proposal that conveys the sentiment of many human beings from the south of Colombia, who mold in their warp the inheritance of the masters, building a present and a future. Such is the essence of Adriana Santacruz, a brand born with the concern to innovate in the fashion industry with differentiated materials to develop a proposal with a remarkable added value and thus satisfy the needs of a demanding market niche, always with the intention of activating the economy of the indigenous communities of Los Pastos, based on the rescue of their ancestral knowledge and traditions.”
Did the Colombian audience welcome your collections as you integrated the heritage of the country?
Since my beginnings I noted the Colombian people admired my work. Thanks to this public I had the opportunity to continue on the road; it was here in Colombia where I initially developed my proposal which has been accepted and hosted ever since. I believe that developing a work that rescues cultural traditions that belong to a certain region will always be well appreciated by its people.
Sentiment and hands are my secret. To feel and to caress the fiber is to mold it to connect the past with the present and to feel the vibrations it produces. The idea is creating a timeless work.
“I think the fact that my works are timeless is directly related to the fact that I do not follow trends when designing, so my designs do not go out of fashion as it happens with trends.
From the beginning I perceived the aesthetic and ecological potential of the materials used for weaving such as cotton and wool.
These, like the tinctures of natural plants, achieve a perfect harmony with the care of the Earth.
This harmony is also achieved by the surprising ability of men and women to produce the raw material that will later be a work of art, without needing to use a big machinery or depending on the often contaminating facilities of textile factories.”
I am in contact with natives not only face-to-face but also spiritually. It is the way of communication between us so they can express all the wisdom of the masters in what they weave.
I constantly travel to the lands where their homes are in order to perceive the cultural syncretism that surrounds this work.
Why did you decide to bring those fabrics to the runway?
I saw it was the ideal way to bring handcraft to another level.
My proposal was based from the outset in using differentiated materials in the world of fashion, so I focused on the ancestral legacy of the people of “Los Pastos” and intended to merge the theory I had learned in my fashion studies with the handcraft that I had learned to appreciate in my region since I was a child.
Then I started a stage in my life where my priority was that of continuing the achievements I had already reached. So I started to knock on the doors of the main personalities of Colombian fashion with the intention of making my work known, efforts that gradually led to the positioning with which I now count on.
From my beginnings there were people who gave me security and the strength to continue with this unique and different concept within a tendency.
It would be a dream to have my collections photographed by Ruven Afanador.
Fashion marks a lifestyle that defines a personality.
The woman who wears my design is free, unique, with defined personality and sensitivity. Capable of perceiving the different vibrations that an attire projects.
Three facets identify my brand: exclusivity, design and sustainability. People who appreciate these facets are consumers with a certain awareness of our environment, with a great sensitivity to art and a greater appreciation for what is unrepeatable. That’s the kind of woman who buys my design.
When I design, figures and presences are manifested in the process of creation that direct the work which goes progressing until arriving at a prodigious end. Finally, at the exhibition of the work, its owner arrives and she surprisingly happens to be the kind of person perfect for my design.
I am a colorist. Color represents my life and also the perception of stories lived both in dreams and in possible previous lives.
My first runway was like a fairy tale, a trip to the stars from which I visualized a reality.
In which runway would it be a dream to have your collections?
Wherever life wants to lead us we will be happy there.
Colombia is a country rich in design! There are several fabulous proposals from magical creators which make Colombian fashion be valued not only here, but in many other parts of the world.
Fabrics are the soul of Adriana Santacruz. We have focused on the study of weaving techniques that, one generation after another, have been developed by the people of Los Pastos. To them, more than a trade, weaving constitutes a way of life and thought in which technical knowledge and spiritual legacy come together, elements that along with the organic nature of the materials used for weaving represent what we call today “Sustainable Fashion”.
If you could give your younger self an advice, what would it be?
Love what you do, that will make you happy.
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