Alejandra Estrada Is Not Afraid of A Challenge
By Amanda Harth
I first learned about the brand Alysta during one of the best pop up’s I’ve ever seen at The Robey Hotel organized by the owners of chic brick and mortar Comercio Popular. Their store front is located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood and specializes in featuring artist and designers based in Mexico. The aesthetic of her brand aligns with theirs and I’m always tickled pink when I find exquisite pieces like the creative label Alysta in Chicago. The designer Alejandra Estrada in based in Mexico City and I had the pleasure to meet her at a recent event highlighting her new collection at the Comercio Popular Store. She was sitting outside chatting with a friend in one of her signature pieces from her recent collection “Mimetic Camouflage”. It was a silk light green dress with ruffled short sleeves. I introduced myself and we realized were Instagram friends and we were familiar with each others work - well post anyway- and we chatted a bit about what inspires her to create.
AH : What is your favorite thing about being a creative?
AE: Every time I create something new is like therapy, I can express my feelings and emotions, I guess that is one of my favorite things. This makes me feel free and connect with other people who are sensitive as I am.
AH: Why did you choose fashion design as your creative form of expression?
AE: Its the easiest way to express myself! Also I like it so much because it gives me the chance to work with people that inspires me and make me feel alive!
AH: What are essential things you need to create besides your tools for design? For example, is it a song or a certain type of mood you have to be in to execute.
AE: My family and friends are my rock, they are the people I most admire. The people I meet and the people I know fuel my work, they serve as constant inspiration. I always take the good and the bad as knowledge that will eventually help my creative genius.
AH: Who is your customer?
AE: Most of them are creatives like me, people involved in art, fashion, music and design, I feel they identify with my brand. Alysta is a unique brand for unique people.
AH: What are your thoughts on the current state of the fashion industry as a whole?
AE: In Mexico there are more people interested in fashion every day. I love that this is happening, it makes my work more challenging and competitive. I love a good fight!
AH: How many people do you have on your team now?
AE: Its basically me and Angelica, my dressmaker. I also have the support of other creatives like photographers, models and stylist. Without them Alysta wouldn't be what it is today.
AH: What resources do you use to market your products?
AE: My biggest resource to market my brand is social media. Alysta´s instagram and website are my main source, I try to portray my personality not only in the styling and graphic design, but also in the look and feel I want to establish. My social media accounts represent my self and what I love.
AH: Do you currently have any mentors that you look too for wisdom or advice?
AE: I am very lucky to be surrounded by creative people who are always giving me feed back and constructive criticism. The search for ideas and inspiration never stops. This could be either online or the things I simply observe as I walk down the streets of the amazing city I live in.
AH: What is the most challenging thing about running your company?
AE: Being my own boss. Every decision I make affects my brand holistically. I have to work hard everyday, push myself and always find motivation. Its great, I enjoy it every second.
AH: What have been some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
AE: Patience! Never give up. Making mistakes is part of the daily process. Being imperfect means being human. As an artist and designer this is the only way to move forward.
AH: What plans do you have for the rest of 2019?
AE: Now, I am in the process of creating a new collection. This collection will be more conceptual and artistic rather than my last four collections. My main goal is to link my paintings with the creative process of my work. In my new spring/summer 2020 collection I will use the clothes fabrics as my canvas. Hopefully I will be able to launch this collection not only in Mexico, but abroad.
AH: What is the ultimate goal for your company?
AE: I would like for my brand to become international and build a global identity, also to be able to work with people I admire all over the world.