In the summer of 1973, a group of sailors descended upon Barranquilla’s Maritime Port carrying a set of records from Nigeria’s Oriental Brothers International Band and Congo’s Dr. Nico. These records found a home at local “Picós”, a powerful sound system that brought such sensational African sounds along the Atlantic shores of Colombia.

This musical effervescence would lay a foundation to the soundtrack of Juan Carlos’ upbringing, ultimately becoming the catalyst to his design career. He loves what music invokes and provokes in our bodies. “Cadence” is the insignia in his vocabulary of sensuality commingled with the aroma of cayenne flowers caressing the sea.

Raised by a single father, at a very early age Obando found himself being carted off to Caribbean dance halls in Colombia. “My earliest memories are of waking up in these outdoor venues at two in the morning and seeing this blur of beautiful people dancing to the swing of sultry rhythms,” he recalls. “It was imagination through movement—It is the foundation of my design ethos today.”

His work is defined by its evocative hues and an incredible eye for a sensuous silhouette. Each design bears example of the brand’s trademark textiles, sashes and cascading streamers, all blended like the notes of those childhood memories that conjures the past while reflecting the present.

A former Art Director of advertising powerhouses such as Saatchi & Saatchi and Young & Rubicam, with no formal training in the field of fashion and with the support of Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, Juan Carlos started showing his ready-to-wear collections in New York City for the Fall-Winter 2008 season.

As an outsider in the fashion industry and with his unassuming approach, Juan Carlos has played an important role in reinvigorating the concept of modern American eveningwear and was awarded by Tom Ford as a runner up for the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition.

(b.1977). Living and working in Los Angeles, Obando draws endless inspiration from the city’s physical and conceptual landscape. Continually pushing the boundaries between artistic mediums, Obando uses his RTW namesake collection as a platform to exercise other creative outputs all coming together as the perfume notes of his ultimate fragrance.

“Los Sentimientos son como los pájaros. Vuelan alto.”

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