The creations of Tico fashion designers are the newest product to be promoted abroad by Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER).
The idea is to create a cluster of Costa Rican designers to promote the style at international markets so that other countries can get to know their work, PROCOMER General Manager Pedro Beirute Prada said this week.
“We are pleased to support an industry that shows the essence of our country through the talent and creativity of fashion designers, therefore we decided to boost our efforts and resources to promote their creations starting next year,” he said.
One of the agency’s first strategies is the creation of a group of designers called “Estilo Costa Rica” (Costa Rica Style) that brings together 30 designers of women’s and men’s fashion, jewelry, accessories and footwear.
The official launch of the designers’ group took place Monday during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Hacienda Pinilla hotel in Guanacaste province.
Beirute said he believes local designers have high export potential and that the creation of the cluster will facilitate access to training and marketing tools for entering international markets.
“We launched this initiative because we know that there are many emerging designers, very talented, but who lack the experience, structure and contacts needed to grow on their own,” Beirute noted.
The agency also hired a business consultant who will be responsible for outlining a work plan for the next three years. The agency estimates it will invest $30,000 in “Estilo Costa Rica” next year, mostly to attend international fairs, trade missions and business meetings.
PROCOMER is initially looking at the U.S., Canada and Panama as potential export markets in the short-term. In a second stage, the agency will seek to promote Tico fashion in Europe.
The cluster model is one of PROCOMER’s most frequent strategies. Currently the agency conducts export promotion for companies grouped in 13 clusters ranging from food to computer animation and aerospace industries.
“It’s a methodology that we have used successfully,” Beirute said. “Companies that make up each cluster are connected by a common goal.”