To celebrate the launch of Dondolo, her clothing line for babies and children, Colombian-born Catalina Gonzalez gathered with friends, family and fashion-forward parents in the Garden Room at the Rosewood Crescent Hotel. The crowd sipped glasses of vino and noshed on light bites and cupcakes while fawning over the line made with Peruvian pima cotton.
When we asked the SMU alumna about how she got her start in the fashion world, she said, "I've always loved designing my own clothing." In fact, the pink lace dress Gonzalez wore to the launch party was one of her creations.
But Gonzalez didn't think about turning her passion into a business until she was pregnant with her son Santiago and received a soft Peruvian pima cotton sleeper. "I saw the need for elegant, high-quality — yet durable and comfortable — garments," Gonzalez said. Currently her collection is available online.
She believes that Peruvian pima cotton is "the king of cotton" because it's harvested by hand in the perfect climate of the coastal valleys of Peru. "Peruvian Pima cotton has a brilliant luster, and it is very durable, thanks to its extra-long staple length," Gonzalez explained. "Only by touching it do you realize the difference between a regular cotton and Peruvian pima cotton."
There's more to Dondolo than the fabric, however. The name means "to swing, wobble or rock" in Italian. Gonzalez chose the name to reflect the swinging motion babies crave. Additionally, Gonzalez works with nonprofits in Colombia to provide Dondolo baby garments to people in need.
"Every time I go back, I research the organization that needs the clothing the most and partner with them," Gonzalez said. "I choose organizations that are giving strong values to the community, providing education, nutrition, scholarships and other services to the families."
At the kickoff party, Gonzalez displayed her quilted Dondolo pieces — onesies, booties, blankets, hats and bibs — in colors of pale pink, blue and white. Joining her were guests Maria Isabel Zajia, Paola Arria-Hilla, Andrea Subervielle, Stephen Hudson, Rafael Parker, Andres Estrada and Allison Rodriguez.