All good things have a good story, and the tale of Estilo Emporio is no exception! Allow us the pleasure of introducing Mac, Mardee, Kira and Michaela, the talent behind the luxury linen and leather good label Estilo Emporio! We were fortunate to meet this beautiful family early on in the piece and began stocking their label within our St Barts stores to our (& our clients) delight. A growing force in the luxury goods sector, Estilo Emporio maintains its family roots and continues to grow with passion and heart.As we welcome their stunning range of linen to our online store, we sent Kira a few questions to share with us and our readers a little more about the origins and inspiration behind the label.
Hello Estilo! As fellow eternal travellers and lovers of traditional crafts, we are really drawn to the story of your company, from it’s origins in the 70’s producing leather goods in Spain and now working with Italian artisans manufacturing the linen clothing we can’t stop wearing! Can you share with us how you have turned your passions into a beautiful business?
I think the most important thing is to tell your story and honour your own aesthetic. We are fortunate enough to have a story that dates back to the 70’s in Spain and an aesthetic that derived from our Dad hand-making belts and bags on the streets of Sitges, on the Coasta Brava of Spain. Mac and Mardee (Husband and Wife/Mum and Dad) then developed a cottage industry, engaging many locals to emboss, plait and hand stitch leather bags, belts and sandals in their homes. Soon they were selling wares in exhibitions throughout Europe and even to Neiman Marcus in the USA. They had a factory and 4 stores along the Coast and even one in Gaudi’s La Pedrera, Barcelona. Thirty years later, we all work side-by-side to continue to create accessories, footwear and more recently, linen clothing. We continue to celebrate our European heritage, maintaining a passion for craftsmanship, quality and timeless style. I don’t think it is so much about turning your passions into business but creating and maintaining a business that engages your passions and honours your individual story, and what better story than a family story!
What is it like working with your designers and craftspeople in Italy? What have you learned from them?
In only 2016, we launched our line of linen clothing manufactured in Italy and inspired by a love affair with the Amalfi Coast and the meeting of a local likeminded designer; a true artisan who produces all of our linen in Positano. It is with great pride that we have collaborated with our Italian maker and immersed ourselves in this linen range so rich in culture, tradition, pride and centuries of craftsmanship. We collaborate and come to her with designs and ideas and then she hand works them into this incredible reality using the most involved craftsmanship. Our combined philosophy is to honour the real, traditional, artisanal methods of manufacturing. We have so much respect to the artisans who laboriously cultivate and weave our garments and make them come to life!
Your clothes have a very particular feel to them, not only in how the fabric connects to the body but your designs have a fluidity and confidence, a strong aesthetic that is is hard to pin down! Where do you find inspiration and who/what are your muses?
Thank you. Although some of our linen is quite directional, overall we design with the intent to transcend time and trends; creating pieces that are ageless, timeless and relevant around the world. The design process goes beyond the idea of right here right now, we don’t design fast fashion, but create pieces that are made to last; garments with natural and organic tones and texture, where less is more. We design within our mother (so across two generations), which is a real reason why we appeal to all ages. Our inspiration is definitely the global woman who loves to travel and effortlessly roam the globe. But we can’t discount that feeling of coming home; the flexibility of our loose-formed clothing lends itself to the ultimate travel attire, to travel and come home to. We are also a product of our environment and what better inspiration than our Australia; we cater to the climate (literally) and of a relaxed lifestyle with a fabric that breaths around the body. The ‘fluidity and confidence’ you mentioned, weaves a special bond around garment and wearer; we provide the fluidity in the textural freedom of the raw, relaxed nature of real linen, but the confidence is in the wearer. We hope to inspire pieces you confidently and consciously chose to “live your life in”.
Do you think a considered, “made to last”, approach to life/fashion/design is gaining more recognition and support?
Absolutely! There has been a massive shift in consumer mentality and more people are consciously investing in pieces that uphold integrity, sustainability, ethicality and furthermore, authenticity; products that are produced with pride, true craftsmanship, artisanal execution, passion and purpose. People aren’t just demanding transparency but they are craving connectivity; pieces that tell a story and one can feel a part of the journey.
What is next for Estilo? (We can’t wait!)
With the introduction of our linen range we have been following this creative thread that has been very unveiling. The concept Linen + Leather now forms the framework of the business, but we are soon to release a collection of silver plated pendants. We are calling it the “Mac Daddy Cross Collection” because we have resurrected a series of traditional, non-traditional, cultural, textured crosses based on an original collection that our father designed and made in the 70’s in Spain. Each piece is made locally in Sydney from the moulds of our original pieces. We are so happy that we held onto the pieces for all these years, as history repeats! We are inspired by our past as we continue to create our future.