Costa Rican Fashion Brands You Need to Check Out

SURFart Playa Grande, Costa Rica
SURFart Playa Grande, Costa Rica | © Jenn Parker
Photo of Jenn Parker
8 April 2018

Costa Rica is a country full of talent, including incredible musicians, artists, traditional artisans, architects, writers, and photographers. There are also some noteworthy designers who have developed unique fashion brands, many of which are environmentally friendly and exude the true essence of Costa Rica. Here are some of the local brands in Costa Rica that you should definitely check out, especially if you are looking to bring something unique and locally made home from your trip.

SURFarte Costa Rica

SURFarte is based in the small surf town of Playa Grande in Guanacaste. The creative duo started out mainly making T-shirts, but have since expanded into custom surfboard art, bags, stickers, and commissioned pieces. The brand and the artwork are truly unique, oftentimes comical, and a beautiful example of what can happen if you follow your dreams. You can find SURFarte at local surf shops, cafés, and restaurants in Playa Grande including at Rip Jack Inn, Weirdo’s Cafe, and Frijoles Locos, but they are expanding into other surf towns such as Playa Guiones.

Local talent | © SURFart Costa Rica

Salvaje Swimwear

Salvaje Swimwear is a custom design swimwear company based out of Playa Hermosa, Jacó, Costa Rica. The founders of the company are both from the United States, but relocated to Costa Rica, where they originally started designing and making surf-inspired swimwear as a creative means to an end. Long story short, after starting from complete scratch, learning how to sew, and making by hand all of the bikinis in a small studio apartment, Salvaje Swimwear grew and the founders were able to hire local help to keep up with the demand for their amazing swimwear line.

Fashionable and functional | © Salvaje Swimwear

Nomadic Collector

Nomadic Collector is a gorgeous bag brand that has redefined luxury fashion. They believe that luxury is defined by “substance, it’s found in the artistry of details, the craftsman behind the work, the richness of the materials and our connection with nature.” Nomadic Collector uses only the finest sustainably sourced materials to create one-of-a-kind leather and wooden bags.

Monkey Bizness

Monkey Bizness is a local accessories company in Costa Rica. The handmade bags, jewelry, and T-shirts feature adorable sloths, a pura vida motif, Diá de la Muerte art, and tropical patterns. A lot of the bags and accessories also use recycled materials. This is an amazing brand to support if you are looking to bring home a unique souvenir.

Pura vida vibes | © Monkey Bizness

Ek Art Jewelry

Ek Art Jewelry is a small jewelry shop based in Tamarindo. The jewelry duo design and create some of the most stunning and unique creations using real metals and natural objects such as fossilized shark teeth and sand dollars, rare crystals and gemstones, and even sea glass and sea pottery. If you want to bring back something from Costa Rica that is truly unique, made locally, and an exquisite reminder of your adventure here, this is the brand you need to check out.

Costa Rica palette | © Ek Jewelry

Obra Gris

Famous designer Oscar Ruiz-Schmidt is the mastermind behind the environmentally conscious Costa Rican brand Obra Gris. Based out of San José, the concept behind this contemporary brand is to create sustainable, timeless, and versatile mix-and-match pieces. What’s amazing about this brand is that they create almost zero waste during production.

Cuero Papel & Tijera

Cuero Papel & Tijera is a Costa Rican leather company created by designer Sofia Protti Coto. Inspired by a deeply rooted family tradition in art and leather craftsmanship, and in particular her grandfather’s passion for leather artistry, Sofia Protti Coto started this contemporary and high-end leather company, where she designs and creates handbags, purses, backpacks, briefcases, and accessories. The designs and colors are inspired by Costa Rica’s beautiful and diverse landscapes, as well as the Costa Rican way of life.