Guests had gotten a sneak peek at the goods that Colette will carry from now until July 22 at a pre-party cocktail. On display were art books and Latin fashion magazines, woven chairs from furniture designer Ramon, a hoodie from Colombian pop star J. Balvin, and food specialties from candies to typical dishes that will be served in the Colette café. While Cortázar, of course, will customize some brand staples such as his neoprene dress, he also partnered with several Colombian brands to add to the mix, such as OndadeMar for swimsuits, Nancy Gonzalez for bags, Paula Mendoza for earrings, Mercedes Salazar for jewelry, Hunting Season for coffee table lighters, Casa Chiqui for earrings, and Magnetic Midnight for beautiful headbands that were made from dyed, dried palm leaves by indigenous tribes under Lucia Echavarria’s design direction. Only a few items were not made by Colombians, such baubles by the plastic queen Yazbukey, who created earrings in the shape of bottles of Aguardiente, a typical Colombian alcohol, and Atypyk, who offered up a snow globe that depicted the Eiffel Tower in the colors of Colombia. Thus far, Colette and Cortázar are the first to collaborate on a fashion initiative in honor of the program.
A taste of Cartagena was brought on board with tropical plants, flowers, and faux parrots filling every available space. Mountains of fruit were on edible display, and partygoers enjoyed bananas along with candies and sodas from the South American country. Latin salsa favorites were spun by DJ Cosmo & Pablo while guests sipped La Hechicera rum, a classic libation from Colombia, and noshed on the occasional platter of plantains and salsa or grilled beef.
According to Cortázar, the Colombians even helped Paris’ rainy, late afternoon skies transform into a beautiful sunset. “You see, we have the power to make the rain stop,” he said. The designer drew some comparisons to the City of Light and Cartagena. “This is the capitol in our hearts—it’s kind of the ambassador city. The cities share the same joie de vivre and passion for living life. The French are Latin themselves, so we connect in that way. I’ve always been moved by the welcome Latins receive in Paris,” he said.