7 Independent Fashion Designers From Buenos Aires the World Needs to Know

Mila Kartei | Courtesy of Mila Kartei
Mila Kartei | Courtesy of Mila Kartei
Photo of Kristin Deasy
Contributor22 May 2017

Buenos Aires has quite the fashion scene. Inspired by the city’s vibrant creative life, the “Argentine look” is made all the more original by the country’s lack of international fashion chains. Scarcity is the mother of invention, as they say, and Argentine fashionistas have taken it to heart. Here are some of the leading names in the country’s fashion scene.

Mila Kartei

Mila Kartei offers something new in the way of female apparel. As she puts it on her website, her work “inquires into the whims, the whispers and the desires of women.” Intrigued? You can visit her studio in Belgrano Mondays through Fridays, 3.00 p.m.–8.00 p.m., and Saturdays, 12.00 p.m.–4.00 p.m.

Mila Kartei,

Mila Kartei | Courtesy of Mila Kartei

Viviana Uchitel

Born in Buenos Aires in 1958, celebrated Argentine designer Viviana Uchitel brings a bold fashion philosophy to her work. From her website:

“To create, to experiment, to search for unusual materials, to investigate forms, to abandon preconceived ideas about what clothes should look like… I have always used different, unexpected materials, such as rubber threads, metal pieces found in old hardware stores or resin stones, guided by the idea of combining new textures on the same color. I guess deep inside I was trying to weave, dye or sew, seeking for an unknown end, while understanding that what matters is the beauty of the trip itself, the search. By the end, the finished garment is no longer mine but for whoever will wear it in the future.”

Viviana Uchitel has locations in Los Angeles and Brazil as well as Argentina.

Viviana Uchitel, Costa Rica 4605, Buenos Aires, Argentina, +54 11 4832 2166

Silvana Barrios

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June Handmade Shoes
June Handmade Shoes | Courtesy of June Handmade Shoes
Shoe company June Handmade Shoes is the brainchild of Argentine designer Silvana Barrios, who stumbled across shoe-making almost by accident when she signed up for a course in the craft out of sheer curiosity five years ago. The result was an innovative shoe company offering a variety of styles, both formal and informal. According to her website, their design is inspired by a combination of Barrios’ travels, childhood memories and personal style. The site goes on to say (translated from the Spanish): “In this way, they take on a dream world of fantasy, warm and loving, which in turn becomes the alma mater of Quiero June, where each pair of shoes is made with great attention to detail from start to finish in order to meet the highest quality standards.” June Handmade Shoes is opening a showroom in Miami. Their Buenos Aires store is located in Palermo.


Laguna is a small Argentine company that makes stylish, affordably-priced weather-resistant backpacks and fanciful wallets. You can put in custom orders or view their products here. Founded in 2015, Laguna also put in a regular showing at the Feria San Telmo in Buenos Aires on Sundays.

Laguna backpacks | Courtesy of Laguna

Palo Santo

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Palo Santo's Fall 2017 line
Palo Santo's Fall 2017 line | Courtesy of Palo Santo
Sustainable and sophisticated is the name of the game for many consumers these days, and Palo Santo‘s sunglasses are on point. The boutique, named after the Palo Santo, or “sacred wood” tree native to South America, specializes in hand-carved wood sunglasses and a variety of other wood-framed products. A small company that began as a university project about six years ago, the store is located in Palermo.


Maydi’s woven wonders will leave you spellbound. Made exclusively from organic yarns and natural fibers (such as merino wool from Patagonia), the young Argentine company is taking the loom into high fashion. “Weaving loom is one of the oldest cultural traditions of Aboriginal peoples, and a clear statement of the importance of women as transmitters of life and culture in society,” the company states on its Facebook page. Maydi is fair trade and works with local Argentine artists. The company’s products are carried by a half-dozen stores in Buenos Aires as well as in France and New Zealand. Find stockists here.

Maydi products | Courtesy of Maydi

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