Behind The Brand: WAIMARI

Born and made in Barranquilla, Colombia, Waimari started from the desire of two sisters to rescue their old family factory founded in the early 80’s. The siblings have reinvented the concept of summer and travel staples, broadening the spectrum of options for the eclectic traveler who wants to look chic and effortless at any time. Enjoy our chat with founders Stephanie and María Catalina Martínez and discover more about what's behind the brand!


What inspired you to launch Waimari? Can you tell us more about your background? 
Waimari takes inspiration from the exuberance of life in the Colombian coastal city of Barranquilla -our home. The story started with the desire of two sisters to rescue their old family factory founded in the early 80’s. Our collections are handcrafted in a third-generation family atelier, where a tradition of intuitive design and intricate fabrication has lived and thrived since 1960. Leaning on a sixty-year legacy, Waimari is anchored in the ethos of our grandparents: “Like the talent that touches them, quality materials are precious and rare.”

What's your first fashion memory?
Our first fashion memory is visiting our grandparents' atelier when we were young, traveling to fabric trade shows and always surrounded by talks regarding garment fabrications. We used to watch the seamstresses and see how pieces were brought to life. We were always interested in fashion and our family experience leveraged our passion for studying and working in this beautiful industry

How does Colombia influence your taste in design and style?
Waimari is envisioned as Barranquilla-born style, it is designed for celebration and consciously handcrafted in Colombia. We honor the Latin American woman’s radiance and we’re creating the means to channel it by anyone all over the world. We are also constantly influenced by local artisans and garment makers to share knowledge and experience. Traditional manufacturing techniques, craftsmanship and details are essential to us

Where do you take inspiration from when designing for Waimari?
Sophisticated, sensual and joyful.. above all, Waimari’s creations celebrate women -those who wear the brand, and those who make it. Designed with the modern traveler in mind, Waimari pieces are meant to transport us to a paradisiacal holiday where sophistication and a carefree spirit naturally blend. Breezy and effortlessly chic, our collections are inspired by the timeless allure of the tropics. Our intricate laces and fully white looks are a nod to our Caribbean roots, while laid-back silhouettes are elevated by Waimari’s signature hand-embroidered details

How do you want women to feel when wearing your pieces?
Women that wear Waimari often say that they feel effortless, uplifted and elegant. We want women to feel they are wearing the best quality, crafted sustainably, and aligned with their strong sense of femininity

What sustainability means to you and how do you translate it into your brand?
Waimari’s creations celebrate women. That’s why it’s a point of pride for us that most of the 90 women at our atelier are the primary breadwinners in their families. Beyond providing fair and ethical working conditions for our team, we also offer empowerment tools like training, mentoring and personal development programs. In Waimari nothing is lost, everything is repurposed, this is our engagement to upcycle

How do you define style?
Style for us is what makes you feel beautiful, comfortable, uplifted, relaxed, and at ease

What's your dream travel destination?
Our dream travel destination is the Amalfi Coast. From swimming and sailing to shopping, sunbathing and watching the sunset with a Spritz in hand. We love a place that blends style, history and gastronomy, and this is on top of our bucket list

What're your travel essentials?
Our travel essentials are sunscreen, bronzer, a great moisturizer for face and body, and rosy lip balm, we pack day to night looks for relaxing and dancing!. The Camila Dress is a must, a timeless staple for your vacation wardrobe

Shop Waimari Spring/Summer '23 Collection