Meet Chiqui and Cloclo; Chiqui Echavarria is an entrepreneur, socialite and the owner of a world-renown interiors store, Casa Chiqui. She’s the city’s answer to Gatsby, forever throwing parties in her home. She’s also mother to Cloclo, a young entrepreneur with a bright future; Cloclo is part-owner of CHC Fashion Group, a company that brings fashion franchises, such as Vilebrequin and Emporio Armani to Colombia.
GENERATION XX: Cloclo
How would you describe fashion in Colombia?
Fashion in Colombia is still developing; it’s only recently that Colombian society has given importance to fashion and local designers. Cartagena has recently become a favourite vacation spot for people working in the fashion industry worldwide, and as a result of this Cartagena is the city with the best street style in the country…but I do not see it becoming the fashion capital.
What is special about Bogotá?
Bogotá is a city that is changing and much of that is down to its youth. Young entrepreneurs own many of the city’s new restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries and fashion boutiques and there is a lot of emerging talent in fashion, music, cuisine and film. There is so much excitement here; I think that in a few years Bogotá could be one of Latin America’s fashion capitals.
Where is Colombia going?
The Colombia of my childhood was one of violence and severe insecurity. Today not only have we made significant advances in security and lifestyle but also in our economy. Everyone I know that visits falls in love with the country and its people; for this reason I can see Colombia placing itself on the map, not only as a tourist destination, but also as a country to invest in.
GENERATION X: Chiqui
How did Casa Chiqui begin?
Since I left Colombia, I have dedicated my life to travelling and discovering new cultures, collecting items with a link to ancient customs. Two years ago, I decided to open my shop with over 100 objects from around the world.
You’ve thrown many parties through the years. Who has been your most interesting guest?
All of my guests that come into my house become unique, interesting and important to me as soon as they arrive. But I can tell you I have had presidents of several countries, actors, singers and artists.
What’s the key to a good party?
The more diversity there is, the better the environment. However, I also create a special and unique décor, and make sure there is great music. But what matters most is happiness and the desire to have fun.
In what ways has Colombia changed for you in the past years?
Colombia used to be a very dangerous place with a lowstandard of living. All of this has changed so much in the past decade. In the future I see it becoming a more international place and hope that it will keep developing as it has in the past few years.Interview by Serena Guen, @SerenaGuen
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