If there’s one thing I love about Buenos Aires, it’s the independent design movement. Unlike many major cosmopolitan cities, Buenos Aires is not solely dominated by prominent European labels. Everywhere from Barrio Norte to Villa Crespo young, ambitious designers are presenting new concepts in clothes, shoes, and accessories. While they may not have glamorous boutiques in shopping malls, these one of a kind designers have created unforgettable pieces. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out.
When it comes to shoes, there are a multitude of options in this city. Due to the prominence of high quality Argentine leather, shoe stores and showrooms are popping up everywhere. However, few are as unique and creative as Rios Benso. Designed by economist Luciana Rios Benso, the colorful sandals, peep toes, and pumps are utterly unforgettable.
Although it’s hard to choose one special pair, my faves are the black and white men’s style tango shoes from the Essentials line. When I tried them on, I simply could not resist their charm. They combine the flavor of the classic men’s tango shoe with a feminine fit that flatters every woman.
In addition to the Essentials, Rios Benso currently offers two other lines of irresistible shoes. For me, Love Songs is magical, as each pair is named after a city and paired with a song that represents the style and feeling of the shoe. If you’re in search of flats, try the Barcelona. For a peep toe ankle boot tailor made for your night out on the town, the Praga are a must have. Aside from the quality of these shoes, the creativity and thought that goes into their creation is inspiring. Get to them while you can, as Rios Benso will not be a well-kept secret for much longer. (Designer Rios Benso: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.riosbenso.com)
In the world of accessories, there are a massive amount of independent designers creating earrings, necklaces, and bracelets to top off your outfit. As soon as I laid eyes on the earrings by Fratellanza Accesorios, I was hooked. Featured as the stand out accessory at Wanama’s BAFWeek show, the multicolored tassel earrings looked good on every model in every outfit. In addition to the fabulous tassels, Fratellanza offers a line with Victorian inspiration. Stones surrounded by golden accents and dangling beads reflect hints of another era. But these are far from old world.
Made for the young fashionista, you can’t help but draw attention by wearing these to your next cocktail party. In addition to the style, the prices are incredible. I recently purchased five pairs of the tassel earrings for $30 pesos each. What a steal.
If you’re looking to get a few pairs yourself, check out the photos on their Facebook page and don’t hesitate to email Tamara. She’ll have any pair sent to Las Cañitas, ready to pick up within a few days. (Fratellanza Accesorios: email@example.com, http://www.facebook.com/fratellanzaaccesorios)
Our last label, Donna Lolá, designed by Mariela Giannini and Aixa Damboriana, is your one stop shop for clothes, bags and shoes. The new summer clothing line features printed skirts and dresses, and silk shorts lined with lace. In addition to these more formal pieces, Donna Lolá sells casual cotton tank tops and petite blazers. You’ll also find purses that range in size from totes to clutches, suede and leather wallets, not to mention lace up heels and studded cowboy boots. Young and hip, you can find everything you need all in one place. This lovely little shop is also very easily accessible. Located on Malabia and El Salvador, their boutique just opened three weeks ago! (Donna Lolá: Malabia 1725, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sometimes it seems as if the independent design movement in Buenos Aires is endless. Almost every day I hear about a new designer making their mark on the industry, and I couldn’t be happier. The fashion world in BA is full of opportunities for young innovators. If there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s that in this city, anything goes.