Federico Sánchez en Pigeons and Peacocks

Inspired by our New Horizons issue and its travel slant, editor Anastasia Miari has this week been on the streets of Santiago, snapping its snappiest dressers. Trendy Bellas Artes and Bellavista areas were visited for gallery browsing and people watching, with Avenue Merced proving to be quite the hot spot for sartorially savvy Chileans…

Strolling down Avenue Merced, just by Santiago’s Parque Forrestral, it’s difficult not to pause at every store window you walk past. The street is full of vintage stores – either that or small boutiques with ‘recycled garments’, lovingly crafted into new pieces. It’s down this street that I spotted three striking men, each with a unique style that somehow still managed to embody different aspects of the city itself. I met them all within half an hour. Lucky, as my camera was running out of battery.

First up was Federico Sanchez, I spotted him instantly. Green chinos, matching bow tie, shock of white hair and a cane he clearly didn’t need for walking. I left the group I was with (a city tour of Santiago could wait) and stopped him for a photo. What I hadn’t noticed in my impatience was the camera crew following him. It transpires that Sanchez is a famous architect with his own television show about the city of Santiago, which I unwittingly featured in, by pausing the main presenter mid-shoot to ask for his photo. Bit awkward.

Still, he was very friendly, and insisted on my taking a photograph of his bag – which is Mapuche – made by the indigenous communities of the region. Sanchez, although dandified and extroverted, a look that cropped up frequently around the Bellas Artes area of Santiago, supports the traditional Chilean crafts and techniques that go into making them, teaming staple suit combos with stand out accessories sourced from the local artisans.