She is Lia Samantha

Lia Samantha a Singer & Designer. Lia’s flamboyant designs combining traditional African prints with modern chic stand out in Colombia’s fairly conservative fashion market. She now owns an eye-catching store in one of Bogota’s stylish shopping malls and her designs have been presented at national and international fashion festivals.

Her clients range from ordinary Colombians who dare to wear out-of-the-ordinary clothes, to pop stars, TV presenters and a former Miss Universe.

Not satisfied with her success as a singer, designer and fashion personality, Lia Samantha also takes pride in transferring her skills and expertise to young people of color and from marginalized communities. Lia Samantha, her sister and business partner Eva and I are sitting in her flagship store discussing a project to promote economic empowerment and cultural enterprise in local communities across the country.

She comes from a humble background where poverty, insecurity and irregular jobs in the informal economy – or criminality – were just the way things are. But her lack of any formal business education or access to professional networks and investors did not hold her back.

She managed to become famous as an artist and grow her enterprise into an established fashion brand. Along the way she was joined by her sister Eva who left a promising job at a bank. Eva has taken on the role of CEO of her fashion business, while Lia excels in creativity and relationship building.

At that young age she was insecure about which direction to take with her designer career. But she was clear about one thing: her passion for sharing her talent with the world and using it to drive change.

Some of her great examples were men, among them her father Tadeo. A self-made tailor, he created masterpieces on the simple sewing machine in the garage of their overcrowded family home. From when she was little, Tadeo taught his daughter a thing or two about making clothes.

Proud of you Lia, Congratulations!!

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