Made in FLA: Colombia Calling
Meet Miami-based designer Silvia Tcherassi, who’s going global with her eye-catching womenswear.
Whether it’s an asymmetrical silhouette in her latest ready-to-wear collection or a dramatic vertical garden in her Cartagena hotel, Silvia Tcherassi isn’t afraid to make a statement. This flair for all things fabulous has catapulted her into the spotlight and made her one of the most sought-after designers for the jet-set crowd. While her namesake brand has gone global, Tcherassi has put roots down in Miami: Not only is her international headquarters based out of Coral Gables, but she also opened her very first boutique in Coconut Grove twenty years ago.
Tcherassi was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia: “It was a port city open to the world and the hometown of many famous Colombian women such as Sofia Vergara, Shakira, and Nina García,” she says. Growing up in such a vibrant place, with the influence of her European heritage, Tcherassi developed a strong sense of style at an early age. She went on to get a degree in interior design, but before long, she began dabbling in fashion as well. “I started experimenting with shirts embellished with exotic materials, and then I wanted to create pieces to complement them,” she remembers as to how she got into being a designer full time. “In a natural and organic way, I came up with a style that fitted perfectly with the spirit of the 90s and [before long] the brand Silvia Tcherassi was born.”
Today, Tcherassi is celebrating her thirtieth year in the industry, and her chic womenswear collections continue to reflect the designer’s appreciation of different cultures and her own travels and experiences. “I am inspired by many things—places like Forte dei Marmi and Barcelona; art pieces such as works by Louise Bourgeois, Frida Kahlo and Anne Truitt; or concepts such as effortless elegance and happiness,” she explains. “Lately, I have been inspired by motion, multiculturalism, globalism and optimism, concepts that reflect our current way of life.”
One of the ways she channels her vision and kickstarts the creative process is by choosing the right fabric. For example, in her first collection for Milan Fashion Week, some of the textures looked like the trees in Coral Gables, and in her most recent collections, she continues to be inspired by nature, flowers and geometry. Tcherassi especially enjoys turning traditional fabrics like tweed, wool and velvet on their heads by giving these stereotypically heavy materials an air of lightness and freshness. Within her two Tcherassi Hotel properties (opened in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2009 and 2016), she uses the labels from her garments to create a dynamic texture on the bedspreads and materials from her haute couture collection on the lamps to invoke a stylish—and unexpected—ambience.
Because of Tcherassi’s elevated eye for design, her ever-growing client list spans from South America to Europe and beyond. That’s part of the reason why she decided that Miami should be her company’s home base. She has lived there with her family for the past 15 years.
“Miami is multicultural, and you can feel a cosmopolitan and global flavor across different areas. The mix of many cultures and traditions produces a very appealing result,” she says. “It was the perfect springboard for the international market.” Within the community, Tcherassi has been actively involved in the arts, supporting Art Basel and the New World Symphony and serving as a board member at the Istituto Marangoni.
While Tcherassi has her hands full expanding her fashion label’s digital operations—currently she has partnerships with Moda Operandi and Net-a-Porter, and this fall she’s teamed up with Italian shoe designer Gia Couture— at the end of the day, the designer’s main goal is to make women feel their very best when they wear her clothes.
“I design for a woman who values quality and little details. She loves fashion but is not a fashion victim,” she explains. “I try to enhance her outer and inner beauty through my designs … I prefer that people say ‘she was gorgeous’ and not ‘she was wearing a gorgeous Tcherassi dress.’”
Shop Silvia Tcherassi at silviatcherassi.com