Montserrat Dibango: “The Beaches of Guanacaste Are My Inspiration”

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Montserrat Dibango grew up next to the blue sea, the green palm trees and the warm colors of the sun in Samara. All of these picturesque images are the source of inspiration for this designer, reflected in the Glassy Conditions collection.

At her 32, this creative young woman will represent Costa Rica and Guanacaste in the Panama Mercedes Benz Fashion Week on October 14th, sponsored by the national brand Esencial Costa Rica, promoted by the Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER- Promotora de Comercio Exterior).

Her line of jewelry, dresses, swimsuits, bags and clothes are not new to those who live in Samara. Since 2010, she has been displaying her work in her shop, MD Boutique, located at the main entrance of Samara.

This is an excerpt from our conversation with the designer.

How do you get the opportunity to participate in the Panama Mercedes Benz Fashion Week?

In Guanacaste, we had the opportunity to participate in three fashion shows that were really a great platform. One was in Hacienda La Ponderosa, in Africa Safari, where they invited potential partners and invited us. That’s when people from Procomer saw our product and loved it. We were also in other fashion shows in the CTP of Nicoya as special guests and in Samara. But it was in Liberia where they became familiar with our product and Procomer visited us and we sent a proposal with all of the information. It so happened that at that time Procomer was sending proposals for the Panama Fashion Week and in Panama, they chose our proposal.

What does it mean to you to represent Guanacaste in this event?

It is an honor. Since we are the only ones from Guanacaste, I am super proud and happy because we are showing that there is talent [here]. Besides, in my proposal, the beaches of Guanacaste are my inspiration, so we mention Guanacaste in everything we send, the beaches, the colors, everything. In fact, the range of colors of our collection is inspired by the beaches, from the surrounding green, the blue water, the sunsets, the coral….

Do you think there has been a growth in fashion design in Guanacaste?

Being very sincere with you, I consider it scarce, but there is a lot of talent. There are some people who do amazing things, but there is no support. There is no direction, no where to get exposure…. I think that local government entities do not pay attention to local art or design. I am from the Nicoya area and the support from the local government is zero.

What do you think about how neither of the two Guanacaste Mercedes Benz Fashion Week editions include any Guanacaste designers?

I can’t say it’s bad. Maybe we Guanacaste designers have not sent a proper proposal that is attractive to the organizers. I can’t judge that the problem is with the organizers. I personally have never sent a proposal, but I hope to do so this year and I would feel very proud to be Guanacastecan and be in a Guanacaste Mercedes Benz. I think the design industry is very scattered in Guanacaste.

What advantages could Guanacaste designers have in comparison with the rest of the country?

One, I think the place is beautiful as inspiration. Two, there is excellent workmanship in Guanacaste; it is hard to find, but it exists. Three, if we know how to market it, we have enough opportunity with major hotels, and foreigners love to be able to take things with them that are made here, so we have some advantages compared to San Jose.