LONDON — Mexican fashion and lifestyle brand Caravana has formed a strategic partnership with Cho Ventures, a purpose-driven private office founded by Tony Cho, a businessman who made his fortune with Metro 1, a real estate brokerage, management and development firm based in Florida.
Cho is also the cofounder of the Magic City Innovation District in Miami. The project aims to transform 18 acres of industrial warehouses and land in the Little Haiti section of the city into a center for innovation, jobs and creativity. As part of the investment, Caravana will move its U.S. headquarters there alongside other Cho Ventures portfolios by the second quarter of 2022.
At the same time, he is the founder and chief executive officer of Future of Cities, a platform for sustainable urban development comprised of real estate investment vehicles, venture capital ecosystems and think tank.
Financial details of the investment were not disclosed. But with the backing, Caravana has already opened stores in Miami, Ibiza, St. Tropez and Bodrum this year. It is also developing the bazaar retail concept with Scorpios, a trendy beach club in Mykonos.
The new alliance will also see the launch of Caravana’s new brand Prao, created by brand founder and creative director Jacopo Janniello and fashion designer Marios Schwab to reflect the spirit of modern Greece, in collaboration with Noema, a newly opened restaurant in Mykonos.
Cho said the investment goes beyond fueling the expansion into new product categories, verticals and global markets, he wants the brand to become “a benchmark sustainable lifestyle brand.”
“Our values align with a focus on making a positive impact; celebrating and promoting indigenous cultures, rituals and women, and emphasizing the importance of sustainability,” he added.
Janniello said: “Cho Ventures understands the necessity of protecting the environment and the importance of cultural connectivity. Their support lends Caravana the ability to further grow our community globally and improve the world around us.”
Founded in 2011, Caravana is a brand inspired by the ancient Maya culture that creates handmade ready-to-wear, accessories and lifestyle products. It works with more than 110 artisans globally. Some 70 percent of them are Mayan and women make up 70 percent of its management team.
The brand is stocked at 55 retailers worldwide, including Bergdorf Goodman, Net-a-porter and Farfetch.