Her rise to fame can be credited to the popularity of a particular off-the-shoulder top that has since become her signature. This season, Ortiz finds inspiration in a classic library where rich textures (velvet, taffeta and Mongolian fur) meet silhouettes inspired by characters in literature, twenty of which are exclusive to M’O.
“As a designer I like to bring out the festive spirit that we all have.”
Here Johanna shares the secret to the success of her infamous Tulum top and takes us behind the scenes of her new collection.
MODA: Your off-the-shoulder silhouettes are not only instantly recognizable but also waiting-list popular. How did it all come about?
JOHANNA:Everyone wore the top so differently: it was with jeans, it was with a black pant, it was with a coat - it could be styled in so many ways that it became a classic. For me shoulders have always been really important and not because it’s a trend.
MODA: Any tips on wearing volume in the right way?
JOHANNA:It’s all about a balance. You cannot have all the volume around you - it has to be in certain parts. Balance is really important to me. Never too elegant, never too sporty, never too huge, never too skinny. When you dress up and when you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing it can change your day.
MODA: I would describe your clothes as very feminine and very confident. Is that how you would describe yourself?
JOHANNA:I think I’m feminine and I’m confident, although I’m actually really shy.
These clothes can be confident for you - they say "here I come!"
MODA: From where do you find your inspiration?
JOHANNA:My strongest inspiration is a traveling woman, I visualize her in different places and epochs, living adventures and meeting iconic characters. Places I have visited, art, architecture and Colombia are also a huge sources of inspiration.
MODA: Do you have any style icons?
JOHANNA:I always think of a Brigitte Bardot woman combined with a Jackie Kennedy - sexy bombshell meets refined elegance.
MODA: Tell me a little bit about the inspiration for your Fall collection?
JOHANNA:I’m always designing based on a story that I just imagine and this story was this woman who lives a fabulous life. She’s living in an estate and she horseback rides and she collects books and she reads and she has a library—that’s why the names of pieces in the collection are names of my favorite characters in books.
MODA: Anything new this season?
JOHANNA:It’s my first time I’m doing velvet which I love - it has shine in it which is great for evening.