Estela Clares

From a house-cave in Andalucía to emerging within sustainable and androgynous Spanish fashion: unearth Estela Clares by her young designer

By Virginia Mayer

Updated 12:15 am EST, December 12, 2023

Published 01:04 pm EST, December 13, 2023

Photo Credits:

Photographer: Cristina Gomez
Creative Direction: Estela Clares
Fashion Stylist: Maria Verses
Female Model: Maria Saavedra
Male Model: Adrian Lahreche
Make-up Artist: Ana Madel
Videographer: Cristina Barón

Talking about sustainable and emerging fashion brands by young Spain designers, there’s a new name out there that’s impossible to miss: Estela Clares.

At just 22 years old, fashion designer Estela Clares has managed to take Andalucía to Madrid with her brand ESTELA CLARES. Most importantly, with her sustainable and emerging brand, soon she’ll be taking over the rest of Europe and hopefully the whole world.

This brilliant and inspiring emerging designer comes from Almería, a tiny town in Andalucía, exactly in the middle of the mountains in the south of Spain. Until she was 6 years old, she lived in her grandma’s house which is, to sum up, a construction without windows built in a cave, something very common in the area. In addition, most of the town’s homes have plenty of fabrics such as checkered tablecloths, flower curtains, crochet, and lace. Similarly, wooden chairs and ceilings, plus old and wrinkled women taking the fresh air sitting in their home’s porches are very common. Here, the streets are very narrow and there are no buildings, all the architecture is low with small and charming houses. It’s a very tranquil and silent place with perfect weather: never too cold, or too hot.

The Origins

Who raised you?

“My parents. However, my grandma Maruja -who helps me a lot with the brand- was always very present during my upbringing.”

Why did you end up in Fashion Design?

“I always knew I wanted to do something related to the art world. Moreover, my grandma has always had something in her hands, always working on something. In short, this makes her my greatest reference and inspiration. I’ve always loved the fashion world. That is to say, it was a process because I always knew I wanted to do something with my hands. Hence, when I was around 10 years old, I told my mom I wanted to work in fashion.”

Do you remember your first fashion reference?

“I’m always very family-oriented. As a result, the first thing fashion-related I saw was the photos where my teenage mom was wearing all these garments made overnight for her by grandma. She looked so fine and elegant…”.

Carrichete: The Collection

Instead of the very common modern aesthetic you see nowadays, ESTELA CLARES’ creations come with a message, a backstory, a clear sense, and a reason why. This emerging fashion brand’s garments’ aesthetic is naïve, genuine, and typical. It represents Estela’s rural origins and doesn’t seek to be modern. Instead, it transmits a relaxing sensation that allows you to understand the essence and all the work behind each artisan and Spain-made piece.

She mostly recycles all the fabrics she uses. These are sheets, tablecloths, and all the materials that come from an old, Spaniard woman’s home. Historically, women in the area have always purchased lots of fabrics, which has allowed Estela to visit these old ladies’ homes in her town, seeking all these sustainable fabrics.

“For example, I make shirts and skirts with sheets and recently made a dress with an old German tapestry my grandma had at her home. This is what makes ESTELA CLARES a sustainable brand. That is to say, we recycle up to 75% every time.”

Estela Clares: A Story Behind Each Garment

What period does your last collection evoke, in other words, what’s the story you’re telling?

“It’s all about my origins, my childhood, and what I saw at my grandma’s house. It’s years and years in the aesthetic process of a whole family.”

Who does Estela Clares dress?

“Everyone. My ideal audience is someone who likes aesthetics and appreciates all the work behind each garment. Someone who can see the past and the origins. I have no age, genre, or personality. I dress whoever identifies with what I want to transmit and try to be as androgynous as I can.”

What does Carrichete -the name of your current collection- mean?

“It’s my grandmother’s street in Almería, where her house is located.”

Carrichete, her current sustainable collection and final university project is all about fluid, relaxed, and straight silhouettes with comfortable and relaxed textures. It has nothing to do with the current tight-fitting aesthetic you see in many popular brands. Everything ESTELA CLARES does is “important, detailed, thorough, artisanal, and fine. We make all our garments with delicacy, love, and affection. Every button and each detail matters, it’s all important!”, claims its creator and designer. “My creations speak about myself, they always have a piece of myself, what I’ve seen, and what I believe in.”

On the Importance of Having a Magical Grandma

So, how exactly does your grandma Maruja help you with your brand?

“She’s 87 years old and has always said she keeps her hands busy as a way to relax and unplug from any undesired thoughts. Crochet is a technique Maruja has worked on her whole life. She’s also always thinking of what to do next. And how to do things differently. Matching what she wears became irrelevant because she’s always super focused in our family. You can see her with striped pants and a sweater with flowers, which has greatly inspired me for my creations!”

Allianz EGO Confidence nominated Estela for their Fashion Awards. This is a platform for emerging fashion talent, organized by IFEMA MADRID as part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid. This nomination placed her creations in some of the most relevant and significant fashion eyes in Spain. And we’re hoping this opportunity will see her grow enough to become one of Europe’s most important names within the fashion industry.

What’s been your greatest challenge as a young and emerging fashion designer, so far?

“I was already working for another brand when I got the proposal to participate in these awards. It was a great challenge that made me very proud. To clarify, this is because I managed to work for a real brand at the same time as I was working on my own. It was very, very intense but the best challenge.

What the Future Holds

What’s next after Carrichete?

“I’m already working on my next collection, which I want to place on larger platforms and runways.

Tempted already? You should! This is for you: Everything ESTELA CLARES creates is on-demand because they’re not yet creating a very large stock. You can find this exquisite and incredibly original collection at estelaclares.com.

So, what are you waiting for?

Discover More