Colombiamoda – considered Latin America’s biggest fashion event – will return for its 23rd edition, showcasing influential local and international designers in front of more than 62,000 expected visitors.

The fashion show, also known as Colombia’s Fashion Week, will take place from July 24 to 26 in Medellin’s Plaza Mayor, where it experienced great success in 2011.

For the first time in the event’s history, Colombiamoda will be opened by a runway show dedicated to men’s wear. Inexmoda, the organizing body of the event, decided to focus more on male fashion this year as sales for men’s apparel is on the rise globally. In 2011, Colombian’s spent more on men’s fashion than women’s wear for the first time, Clara Henriquez, Director of Inexmoda, told Colombia Reports.

Famed Colombian designer Lina Cantillo will showcase her work at the opening event. Her collection will focus on “moments of a man’s life where he becomes the center of the story.”

The Barranquilla-based designer has become an integral part of Colombiamoda. In 2010, Cantillo caused a great stir with her runway show “Life Cycles.” Regular models shared the catwalk with pregnant women, children and older women all dressed in her provocative clothing line.

During the three-day event, 30 national and international designers will show off their 2012 Spring and Summer collections. International guests will include Christian Cota, who will present his line at the closing event. The Mexican designer is famous for dressing celebrities such as Jessica Biel, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.

Cota’s new collection is based on the story of an American girl that fell in love with Mexico’s culture and will display traditional Mexican prints and fabrics.

Colombiamoda 2012 brings together 450 exhibitors, 600 brands and 9,500 buyers, including 1,500 international buyers. It is considered to be Latin America’s biggest fashion event and is unique in the world for combining runways with trade shows and information sessions.

A total of 24 free lectures will be held over the course of the festival, in conjunction with Medellin’s UPB University.

Colombia’s Fashion Week expects to generate an estimated $95 million in business investments, said Henriquez.

The fashion event will also promote Medellin and Colombia as a tourist destination. For the last 23 years, Inexmoda has worked closely with local transportation, hotel and catering associations, developing an infrastructure for international tourism. “We want to show what Colombia is all about,” explained Henriquez.

For more information on Colombiamoda 2012, visit the event’s website.