Hailed as one of the pioneers of fashion design and style in Colombia, Claudia Gontovnik is a multidisciplinary artist who has tailored a unique vision by recycling, repurposing and reimagining garments into one-of-a-kind pieces. Each item by Gontovnik is a celebration of self-expression and constitutes a statement for her and the person who chooses to wear it.
Seaming together style, social responsibility and sustainability by giving new life to discarded items, the label is committed to stopping the widespread feeding of toxic chemicals into our environment through reuse and sartorial reinvention. Eco-friendly and ethical fashion are the pillars of the company.
Claudia’s signature “suture” style highlights the pressing need to stitch together our differences in today’s world. The raw and honest exposure of seams and visible knotting of the embroidery thread embrace imperfection and foreground how the variegated elements of the piece are held together. The result is a collage of cultures, colors, religions, and gender identities that happily coexist in each garment.
The fact that the label is the artist’s namesake reflects just how deeply personal each piece is for Claudia Gontovnik. She sources all the materials herself. These select fabrics are washed, ironed, and cut by local seamstresses, who welcome the opportunity to better support their families through their skillful craft. The artist then pins the pieces on her inspiration wall and works on them until she feels in her heart the design has come together and makes sense.
The item is finally sent to Medellín, Colombia, where it is hand stitched by a group of Mothers Head of Household, whose painstaking and beautiful work takes several days to complete, a feat that is recognized on the garment’s label, which duly credits their names and hours of labor.
Born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia and based in Miami, Florida, Claudia Gontovnik is a fashion designer and sociologist. After graduating from Syracuse University, she returned home to launch her eponymous fashion house to great success. Gontovnik’s prolific achievements include creating a fashion label, establishing brick and mortar stores in Colombia and the US, founding a digital fashion magazine, designing and producing multiple fashion shows, as well as pursuing music, styling, store window design, and other artistic endeavors.
The year 2014 constituted a breakthrough in Gontovnik’s career, as she was able to clearly define her creative intent by becoming an advocate for a socially responsible and sustainable fashion industry. This is what she does now, wholeheartedly.