Lizet Esquivel
Lizet Esquivel
Lizet Esquivel has 10 years' experience in the fashion industry working for Latin American brands. She has organized fashion shows internationally in Dubai, the USA, Finland, Dominican Republic, and Mexico.

LAFS: The platform that is disrupting Latin American Fashion brings together Top Fashion Leaders in Miami

latin American Fashion Summit (LAFS) has become a powerful global platform for Latin American Fashion and Design created by renowned Latina Entrepreneurs Estefanía Lacayo and Samantha Tams with the mission to elevate and enrich the Latin American Fashion Industry and make it more relevant than ever, It all began when they noticed lack of opportunities within the region that was receiving a growing international interest a project that once started exclusively as an annual conference is now much more than that.

The sixth edition of LAFS will take place from November 6 to 8, 2023 in the Design District of Miami, 3 days dedicated to all things Latin American Fashion and more:

  • INSPIRING CONFERENCES: Conferences by industry leaders and world-renowned fashion professionals
  • NETWORKING EVENTS: For fashion, design, and beauty entrepreneurs
  • THE LAFS POP-UP: An impeccable curatorship of the best of Latino Design. This initiative is open to the public, who can make purchases directly in the pop-up, thus discovering a large selection of brands in one place. In addition, the Pop-Up will also feature the presence of some of the most important buyers and retailers in the world. Among those confirmed are Moda Operandi, Luxury Stores at Amazon, Net-a-Porter, Holt and Renfrew, Malva Department Store, Nordstrom, Shopbop, Revolve, and others.
  • THE GLAMOROUS THEMED CLOSING CEREMONY GALA, the most fun night in Latin American Fashion where it is announced the Pitch to LAFS winners.

One of the biggest impacts and a great differentiator of this event is precisely the Pitch to LAFS, which is an annual contest in search of the next great talents of Latin American Fashion, only 9 are selected, this will be the fourth year of this competition.

There are 3 categories: Latin Designer of the Year, Accessories Designer of the Year, and Social Impact Project of the Year, in this edition the finalists are:

  • Latin Designer of the year: Maria Elena Villamil, Las Sureñas, Faride Ramos.
  • Accessories Designer of the year : Alta Shoes, Modern Monarchie, Paola Sighinolfi,
  • Social Impact Project of the year: Mochacó, Felipe Fiallo, Escvdo

The 9 finalists will present their brands before a jury composed of the most influential names in the fashion world as Arielle Siboni, Fashion Director for RTW at Bloomingdales, Johanna Ortiz, Designer, Maria Williams, Senior Buyer at Net-a-Porter, Silvia Tcherassi, Designer, Trisha Gregory, Chief Brand Officer at Luxury Stores at Amazon, Carmen Busquets, Entrepreneur, Strategic Investor, and Philanthropist among others.

We are very proud of what we have achieved in these four years. Definitely, every designer who has won and has been a finalist, is today a success story in the global and regional market,” said Estefanía Lacayo, Co-Founder of LAFS.

The winners of Pitch to LAFS 2023 will be announced during the Closing Gala Presented by Zacapa Rum is to be held at the Alfred L. Dupont Building, on November 8th . “We are very excited about this alliance. In this edition, in addition to the prize that year after year we have given the winners to boost their growth, Zacapa Rum will award a prize of $10,000 USD to each winner,” mentioned Mrs. Lacayo.

The LAFS program is composed of panels and keynotes focused on the themes of Entrepreneurship, Wellness, Beauty, Leadership, Fashion Retail, Financial Literacy, Sustainability, and the most inspiring journeys to the top.

The guest speakers are recognized leaders in the sector at an international level, in 2023, some of them are: Ginny Wright, CEO of Audemars Piguet Americas, Shira Sue Carmi, CEO of Altuzarra, Emilio Estefan, a Legend in Music, Television, and Film, April Hennig, Chief Merchandising Officer of Moda Operandi, Edgardo Osorio, Founder and Creative Director of Aquazzura, Rickie de Sole, Women´s Fashion Director at Norstrom, Katie Kaps, Co-Founder/CEO at HigherDOS, among others.

Wellness and Health topics were added to panels, among the experts who will be participating are Whitney Tingle, Founder & Co-CEO at Sakara Life, Tata Harper, Founder of Tata Harper Skincare, Rodrigo Garduño, Founder of 54D, and many others.

One of the novelties of this 2023 edition is the Breakout Sessions, which are 45-minute discussions led by an industry expert and only a select number of LAFS Miami 2023 participants will have. They will be able to introduce themselves and ask the featured expert any questions they might have, some of the Breakout Sessions confirmed are: Creating Personalized Shopping Experiences by Sara Easley, Founder & CEO MaisonMarché, How to Scale Your Business by CEO of Ulla Johnson, Donata Minelli, Hands on Entrepreneurship by Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Serial Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Clerisy, Gilt and Glamsquad, Planet People Progress with Carolina K and Taryn Hipwell, Profitability Matters in collaboration with Vistete de Colombia by Johanna Isaac Fadul, Fashion Business Consultant.

These encounters make us really happy because no other platform offers these spaces between your community and some of the industry’s most respected leaders.” Pointed out Samantha Tams, Co-Founder of LAFS.

The event is for anyone who has an interest in the fashion industry. LAFS has a hybrid format, people can enjoy the event in person in Miami or virtually, and students and buyers have preferential rates. LAFS is backed by great brands and personalities among them: Craig Robbins CEO and founder of Miami Design District, Shop with Google, and Mastercard.

There are many reasons to participate in the summit, one is Latin Proud, a fun-filled three-day affair that showcases the vibrancy of this region and celebrates Latin America Heritage and Discovery, buyers, and attendees discover their new favorite Latin Brand in the pop-up. Finally Self Growth, the event brings the most inspiring speakers and leaders from all over the world, with the purpose of helping participants to grow and be the best version of themselves. The added value of attending the event in person, in addition to the content, is all the Networking Opportunities through all the planned activities, from morning to night there are activations for people to meet, exchange business cards and thus start a business relationship, proof of this are remarkable collaborations that start during the summit as well as brand pick-ups by some of the top retailers of the world.


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