The Guayaquileño who does not let the tradition of wearing guayaberas die

Guayacos is a section in which we tell stories of the inhabitants of Guayaquil, lives that feed and make this city richer. Stories that help to better understand the wood from which they are made.

In the year 1971, Rómulo Orellana started a business with the design and sale of Guayaberas. He decided to focus his skills as a tailor on that white garment, which at that time represented the elegance and honorability of the man from Guayaquil. Now, 50 years later, despite the youth trends and the diversity of colors in the fashion of the city of Buenos Aires, this business continues firmly hand in hand Juan Carlos Orellana, his youngest son.

“My father was a tailor, he sewed different suits for men. But he became interested in guayaberas because they were always asking for that garment. With the help of my mother, Irene Flores, they succeeded and created 'Confecciones Orellana', with the star product 'Guayabera'. Then it was up to us, his children, who have expanded and evolved the business”, says Juan Carlos, while showing EXPRESS the main store of the business, in the square Garzocentro, in the north of the city.

There are different guayaberas of all colors, sizes and styles. The business has a second store on Escobedo streets, between Aguirre and Ballén. Between the two, per month they receive between 1,000 to 1,500 clients.

Juan Carlos, 42, took the reins of the business since 2020 and with different designs of this typical long-sleeved shirt with four pockets and two rows, he reconquered older men and fell in love with women and new generations. He creates guayaberas from pastel colors, fresh textures and embroidery. Guayabera dresses and skirts as well.

“We want to keep alive the tradition of wearing a guayabera, which is a typical and elegant garment from Guayaquil. That is why what I have done with the designs is to lower the age of the guayabera to reach younger generations and make them appreciate Ecuadorian products more”, details Juan Carlos, who has also studied graphic design. In addition to him, the two eldest sons of Rómulo and brothers of Juan Carlos, also go into business. Freddy, the eldest son, is in charge of Public Relations and Marcia of the administrative part.

The most popular guayabera store in Guayaquil? Juan Carlos awards it with originality. Well, from the year 2004 They decided to give new touches to the guayabera and emphasize it and its use.

And it is that their designs range from the most classic to the most up-to-date, even reaching the sports field, but also representing Guayaquil. Well, the latest design of this guy from Guayaquil is the 'the Guayabera of the Shipyard', which combines the freshness of the yellow Barcelona shirt with the elegance of the cotton fabric of the traditional garment.

“Here even pregnant women have come to look for guayaberas for babies. Tourists come all the time in search of something that identifies Guayaquil and they order us from the different provinces. With our designs, the guayaberas stop having a cost and start to have a value”, says Juan Carlos with a smile.

His father, Rómulo, now 75 years old, is proud of the business that Juan Carlos and his brothers expand. They, in turn, hope that their children continue this family legacy.


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