Hit Cartagena’s top boutiques for innovative men’s and women’s fashion
Visit the country’s preeminent contemporary-design shop
Uncover a globe-trotting socialite’s trove of antiques and stylish housewares
Colombian style is a sophisticated blend of forward-thinking design with a reverent nod to folk traditions, and a spin through the city’s chic boutiques will have you looking the Cartagenero part. Start near the Plaza de Santa Teresa at the local flagship of Colombian designer Silvia Tcherassi, who’s achieved global renown with her ethereal evening and ready-to-wear clothing for women (her most recent line was inspired by the female characters of Gabriel García Márquez). From here, make your way three minutes northeast to Gabi Arenas, where sumptuous Colombian leather provides the canvas for artfully hand-stamped wallets, bright handbags, and delightful driving mocs. Walk two blocks west to find the excellent shop run by Cartagena designer Ketty Tinoco, who spins luxurious linens into high-fashion guayaberas for men and silk-and-lace couture confections for women. Tinoco works primarily in white, ivory, cream, and other light hues, which locals prefer to wear to combat the oppressive heat. Half a block north you’ll come upon the fabulous St. Dom, a high-design concept store set in a 300-year-old colonial residence—though it could easily be mistaken for a contemporary-art museum. Jewelry, casual menswear, swimwear that makes a splash, and fabulous patterned frocks dreamed up by independent local designers are all on show here. Finally, seven minutes away on Calle de la Universidad, Casa Chiqui is an interiors wonderland set in a restored 1930’s warehouse, and stocked with unique finds from globe-trotting Colombian socialite Chiqui Echavarría’s travels: antique Balinese bowls, silver Turkish cups, detailed Mexican textiles, and hand-painted Colombian carnival masks, as well as the owner’s eponymous designs.