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JOURNAL

CAN I TELL YOU ... TAKE A TRIP AROUND THE WORLD AND SEE THE CULTURES THAT INSPIRE MY DESIGNS.

Can I tell you...about my Spring / Summer 2019 campaign photo shoot in Cartagena.

Rafe Totengco

Every street corner in Cartagena was a photo shoot waiting to happen.

Every street corner in Cartagena was a photo shoot waiting to happen.

Sunny and tropical are my key words whenever I’m planning a getaway especially over Christmas and New Years. Mike and I decided this was the year to see Colombia. As a destination it’s relatively easy to get to from New York and since it’s the same time zone there would be no jet lag to get over. We realized when we started planning that there was so much more to see so we chartered an itinerary that would start in Bogota then take us through Salento, Villa de Leyva, Santa Marta and end in the walled city of Cartagena

Each house was as colorful as the next with street vendors selling fresh and succulent fruits.

Each house was as colorful as the next with street vendors selling fresh and succulent fruits.

The walled city is a labyrinth of narrow streets lined with brightly painted houses and balconies bursting with hibiscuses and bougainvilleas.  Imagine walking into a film set where every corner is Instagram ready. 

Color from every street corner.

Color from every street corner.

Naturally, old town Cartagena became a jumping off point when I started designing my Spring / Summer 2019 collection.

My bestselling clutch, the    Rosie   . It’s hand-embroidered with a yellow Lily and a butterfly.

My bestselling clutch, the Rosie. It’s hand-embroidered with a yellow Lily and a butterfly.

The vibrant colors, lush greenery, exotic birds and tropical flowers all played their part in the collection. 

The    Sofia octagon clutch    in yellow buntal straw .

The Sofia octagon clutch in yellow buntal straw.

The    Stella minaudière    in brown lip shell.

The Stella minaudière in brown lip shell.

Taking my own photos and videos because you can never have enough.

Taking my own photos and videos because you can never have enough.

I was almost all set but at the last minute my photographer had an emergency and couldn’t do the shoot.  Undeterred, I was determined to make it happen. I had brought the bags with me and I wasn’t going to let the location go to waste. I asked a tour guide we had used if he knew any photographers. He recommended his friend Mauricio Perez, who immediately got in touch with me. By the next day he was location scouting with me. 

Catalina Mouthon    clutching my Amanda clutch in ombre’ pink.

Catalina Mouthon clutching my Amanda clutch in ombre’ pink.

The    Stella minaudière    in white kabibe shell.

The Stella minaudière in white kabibe shell.

My original photographer recommended that I find a model through Elida Castro Agency and that’s how I saw Catalina Mouthon’s profile. Once we were in touch she referred me to hair and make up artist Jesus Diaz

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My Sofia octagon clutch in red buntal straw. 

Planning the photo campaign is one aspect of what I do that I love as much as designing the collection. Location scouting, meeting and collaborating with creative individuals, and seeing what has been in my imagination come alive fills me with joy.

Mauricio took my photo taking a photo.

Mauricio took my photo taking a photo.

Me and my crew: Photographer Mauricio Perez, model Catalina Mouthon and hair and make up artist Jesus Diaz.

Me and my crew: Photographer Mauricio Perez, model Catalina Mouthon and hair and make up artist Jesus Diaz.

    The day went smoothly as planned and since each location was within walking distance we were able to end as the sun was setting. The team was a joy to work with; professional, energetic and enthusiastic. I couldn’t be happier with the results.

    Despite the odds the shoot almost didn’t happen but I’m not easily discouraged. I believe that once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen and happen it did!

Adiós Cartagena y hasta que nos volvamos a encontrar.

Adiós Cartagena y hasta que nos volvamos a encontrar.