Colombian design duo Francisco Leal and Karen Daccarett first met while studying at Istituto Marangoni, in Milan. Their shared appreciation for fine italian craft and Colombian culture resulted in a marriage of love and creativity. With an ultra-femme approach to design, their collections combine skilled craftsmanship and details with architectural volumes, vibrant color palettes and mixed patterns. Season after season, Leal Dacarett builds upon a world of whimsical pieces that can either be worn to celebrate a special occasion or to make a special occasion out of the everyday.
From the Pacific coast’s natural landscapes and the explosion of color at Cartagena’s fruit markets to the white cotton Sunday dresses worn to church in many small towns, Colombia is a constant source of inspiration for the designers, who add a dash of modernity to the sensibilities of the tropics. And with a strong lineage of ancestry hailing from Italy and the Middle East, ever prevalent in their home life, the label is a product of Karen and Francisco’s combined cultural heritage.
ARTISAN CRAFTS AND NATURAL FIBERS
Karen and Francisco aspire to honour the traditions of Colombia’s many artisanal communities by offering them stable, dependable employment opportunities and therefore helping safeguard their ancient crafts. For the past decade they have also focused on collaborating with female heads of household who are encouraged to work from home. Producing in a way that is conscious of the environment is just as important for the designers as achieving the high quality that characterizes their designs. That’s why they only use natural, biodegradable and long lasting fibers like linen, silk, wool and alpaca, which require less energy and water during their production process than other fibers. In order to reduce waste, the label developed a Home Collection of cushions, napkins, towels and other homeware handmade by female artisans who use the textile residue from the label’s clothing line.
Our aesthetic is rooted in our innate appreciation of our beloved Colombia, yet with the perspective of outsiders looking in. We created Leal Daccarett to address an emerging young audience eager for a fresher, more contemporary approach to Colombian style.
— Francisco Leal and Karen Daccarett, Co-Founders