The first edition of the Latin American Fashion Awards (LAFA) took place in the Dominican Republic from November 2 to November 4, 2023. The event, which aimed to highlight the contributions of designers and creatives from Latin America, gathered some of the most influential names in fashion and culture.
The LAFA jury was composed of top-tier industry leaders, such as ELLE editor-in-chief Nina Garcia, journalist and fashion icon Anna Dello Russo, stylist and i-D global fashion director Carlos Nazario, supermodel, actor, and activist Indya Moore, and designer Haider Ackermann, who presided over the jury. The jury deliberated over 13 categories, such as Designer of the Year, Brand of the Year, Fashion Photographer of the Year, and Fashion Artist of the Year.
The finalists were selected from more than 1,500 applications from 23 countries, representing the diversity and richness of Latin American talent. Some of the finalists included Daniella Villegas, Karoline Vitto, Marcelo Gutierrez, and Lineisy Montero.
A Glamorous Ceremony and a Memorable Performance
The LAFA ceremony was held on November 4 at the Altos de Chavón Amphitheater at Casa de Campo, a stunning venue that has hosted artists such as Frank Sinatra, Sting, and Elton John. The ceremony was hosted by actress and singer Leslie Grace and actor and model Iván de Pineda, who introduced the co-founders of LAFA, Constanza Etro and Silvia Agüello. Etro and Agüello emphasized the importance of the event for the Latin American community and the development of the orange economy in the region.
The ceremony also featured a performance by the evening’s Icon of the Year, J Balvin, who delighted the audience with his hits and his charisma. The Colombian singer thanked LAFA for the recognition and expressed his pride in being Latin American.
The Winners and the Highlights of the Night
The winners of the LAFA were announced during the ceremony, with some of the highlights being:
- Designer of the Year: Esteban Cortázar, who dedicated his award to his mother and his Colombian roots.
- Brand of the Year: Johanna Ortiz, who thanked her team and her clients for their support and trust.
- Emerging Designer/Brand of the Year: Karoline Vitto, who shared her vision of creating inclusive and empowering garments for all bodies.
- Fashion Photographer of the Year: Camila Falquez, who celebrated the beauty and diversity of Latin American people and cultures.
- Fashion Artist of the Year: Marcelo Gutierrez, who expressed his gratitude for being able to work with his passion and his friends.
- Dominican Republic Local Star: Lineisy Montero, who received the award from Indya Moore and Tokischa, and who praised the talent and potential of her country.
The LAFA was a historic and unprecedented event that celebrated and honored the work, diversity, and heritage of Latin American talent. It also provided a global platform for promotion and growth of the region’s creative industry. The LAFA was a success and a milestone for Latin American fashion and culture.