Many Latin fashion designers are on the rise—and with Latin Heritage Month behind us, and Mercedes Benz Guatemala Fashion Week in November, how can we not mention Mariandrée Gaitán?
The Guatemalan-born, Miami-based fashion designer is quickly gaining the reputation as one the most promising designers of Latin haute couture, and as Vogue Mexico says, she “reinterprets haute couture in Latin America.”
“My vision is to create a community of women who support other women and who can change the world, take our self-esteem to the next level and create a fantasy land through fashion,” said Gaitán.
Gaitán is the sparkle queen, above all. She’s known for elegant, glittery gowns, halter tops made from feathers, and fun party dresses, many of which mix mesh and sparkly rhinestones, so you are the disco ball on the center of the dancefloor.
“Sparkles are my personal hallmark,” said Gaitan. “In each collection, I try to make women who wear them feel in their truest prime. Feathers are an extension of my trademark too, I just want women to sparkle through their everyday life, like a daydream.”
Gaitan has embedded dresses with Swarovski crystals, feathers, lace, silk, and organza. Since starting her brand with a bridalwear collection in 2014, she put herself on the fashion map with her princess-like wedding dresses and haute couture throughout Latin America. She has hosted the runway shows in New York, in 2016, Paris, Milan and even Monte Carlo, with her resort wear, in 2018. Today, she’s creating more wearable and ready-to-wear pieces.
Her 2019 collection was inspired by Parisian chic with what she calls a “Latin sensuality,” and many of the looks are shot in old, historic Parisian apartments, giving that I-must-go-there-now kind of wanderlust vibes.
She’s also known for sparking inspiration for women everywhere, especially with her stylish party looks that is worthy of Euphoria fans, as her latest collection of mesh crop tops, sequin corsets and sparkly crew-neck dresses are all the rage with Latin women. Everything she creates has a dreamy, mermaid vibe, “a woman who lives her life but who has peace in mind when she is in the water,” she said.
“My pieces are sexy, and with a lot of shine,” she said. “They’re designed for women who want to stand out and feel great, not only physically but also internally. ‘MG’ is a brand designed for women who want to look and feel good and who transmit good energy wherever they go.”
She has her factory based in Guatemala, where she employs dozens of elderly women who create the garments for her clients. They’re seamstresses—like her grandmother—who excel at the art of creating her couture pieces.
“Being from Guatemala is a great pride for me, as a Latina woman, I wanted to work with people from my country,” said Gaitán. “The seamstresses who work with me are women who are specialists in detail—they build pieces from scratch but are also capable of weaving and gluing sequins with perfect accuracy. They do exceptional manual work, and those are skills that few people have today. They are women with great experience, and their artisanal expertise is extremely valuable in today’s world.”
“I want to keep their traditional techniques alive, and thriving in the garments for the new generation,” she adds.
It comes from her own spirituality, and outlook on life. “I’m a spiritual person and aware of my energy, everything that I give out around me,” said Gaitán. “That’s why I try to instill good practices in the workshop with my staff, so that the work environment is ideal for everybody—I want women to understand the power they have in their hands, and share that, to enrich other women.”
As Gaitán celebrates her 10-year anniversary with the brand, 2023 is full of expansion in stores, online sales to more countries, and two collection launches—her fall/winter 2023 collection, and an upcoming resort wear collection. “They’re in line with the ‘MG’ design aesthetic, but with very special details that will make the pieces one of a kind,” said Gaitán.
“I want the world to see that we help women, we dress women, we root for women, and we empower every woman out there,” she said. “Not just through fashion, but in their jobs, in their passion, their dreams—in life, every day.”
Check out @mariandreegaitan on Instagram.