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Colombia-BornJewelry Designer Paula Mendoza Launches New Collection at Art Museum of the Americas

By Carrie Snurr

Jewelry designer Paula Mendoza launched her latest collection, SS18 Ianimi Collection, at the Art Museum of the Americas on Nov. 17. A trunk show for the jewelry collection for the general public was held on Nov. 18.

Mendoza is a jewelry designer based in New York who started her career in her native country, Colombia. Major fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar have featured pieces designed by her. Celebrities like Rihanna and Beyonce have worn her jewelry. She opened her first studio in 2003 in Bogota, Colombia before moving to Washington.

NOVA BOSSA hosted the private reception the night before the trunk show. Guests ate sushi made with ingredients sourced from Colombia and drank South American coffee and wines from Juan Valdez Cafe.

“SS18 is a celebration of Colombia and her communities, some of which are on their way to disappearing completely,” said in a press release for the event.

Paula Mendoza NOVA BOSSA OAS Art Museum of America Jewelry COlombia
Colombian-born jewelry designer, Paula Mendoza delivers opening remarks at the Nov. 17 opening of her latest collection of jewelry inspired by indigenous Colombian cultures. (Photo: NOVA BOSSA)

Andrés González Díaz, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the Organization of American States and his wife Ines E. Shuk attended the private reception on Nov. 17 in addition to Gloria Ritter de Reyes, wife of the Ambassador of Colombia to the United States.

NOVA BOSSA is a luxury fashion start-up that was created in February of 2017 in order to promote new and up and coming designers in the Washington D.C. area.

“NOVA BOSSA was founded in February 2017 as a platform for top talent emanating
from Latin America and other emerging markets to expand in the United States, with a
special focus on women designers and artisans who make luxury products sustainably,” Carolina Furukrona said in a press release.

“Our partnership with Paula Mendoza and this event are the perfect manifestation of
that mission,”

Mendoza’s latest collection gets it inspiration from he Colombian heritage. It also emphasizes sustainability efforts. The collection is made up of nearly 40 pieces of jewelry. It takes inspiration from sacred symbols of the indigenous community in Colombia.

Her jewelry is sustainably sourced and her workshop is located in her home country. In 2015, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos named Mendoza one of the Top 100 Colombians Changing the Face of the Country in

Paula Mendoza Jewelry Colombia
Andrés González Días (Left(, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the Organization of
American States and Pablo Zuñiga, Director of the Art Museum of the Americas at the Nov. 17 private reception. (Photo: NOVA BOSSA)

“With this collection, I’ve decided to become more vocal about how I create my jewelry, which respects the environment and the people who work with me,” Mendoza said.

“This is a brand that from its inception has always practiced sustainability as a way to not only give back to the skilled Colombian artisans who make these pieces by hand, but also to be responsible in our materials and production.”

In the indigenous communities in the Colombian Amazon region, the name of the collection, “Ianimi” means “intuition.” The pieces feature symbols such as Mother Earth and incorporate sound that reflects water and divinity.

Mendoza travelled around Colombia, working with local artisans to learn more about symbols featured in their crafts for the SS18 collection. She has previously focused on spreading sustainability efforts and shining light on the beauty of her home country.



Carrie Snurr is an editorial intern for The Washington Diplomat.



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